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Thread: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

  1. #1
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    A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

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    Hi,
    let me introduce a bit about myself. My name is Kopic-C, because I drinking at least 1 cup daily. I'm a newbie on planted tank. Previously has a 2 FT tank 2 years ago, also iwagumi set up (Lava rock with DHG only). Equipment at that time: CO2 regular & solenoid, ADA soil, Aqua T8 6500k double tube light, Dolphin 1200 canister with media. However due to busy life cos of my new born baby, I have no time to take care the tank. As a result, after 2 years, the tank end up with full algae occupied, zero progress in DHG growing (Yes, zero progress, not even spreading, no runner too). The only living creatures left is My Cherry shrimps and chocolate shrimps. They enjoy it a lot cos of the algae. All my experience is through forum and LFS. In the end I throw away my canister and my tank because I really cannot take the smell of horrible algae any more.

    Finally after settle down, I decided to start a new tank again. Again, challenge myself with iwagumi set up (I only realise it is the hardness among all aquascaping at the later part.... lol....) because I simply love simple and clear set up. I would like to share my journal here so that I can get more suggestion and advise when needed.

    1 - 4 weeks

    With my existing CO2 regular & solenoid and Beamworks EA 60 lighting (my bro pass to me due to not playing shrimp any more), I went to Yishun 618 to get a new canister, a 2x1.5x1.5 tank, ADA soil with good media. These items were lying in my study room for 2 weeks without setting up, because I am researching and thinking the design I wanted for my tank. Came to know that there is a rock distributor at 40 Jalan Lekar, near Qian Hu, I went there to hunt for my rocks. Those grey rocks left quit little, and most of them in plate shape which dun really look good for aquscaping. As for black lava rocks, also limited stock. Worse, the hammer was broken thus they got no hammer to lend me. End up I have to use rock to crack rocks. I end up going home with 15kg of lava rocks.

    It took me 2 days to scrub the rocks, boil them in hot water to ensure that it is safe to use. I decided to kick start with dry start method because previously I started with cycling the tank with full flooding. See many people growing their DHG well using DSM, so I decided to give it a try. I go to Y618 to get a box of Japanese DHG at $12. I separated them into few stalks and cut their tip, follow exactly what the people do in video whom strongly recommended in doing that will speed up spreading and growing. It took me few hours to plant them. After planting, I waited excitingly to see the result.




    I covered the tank top with wraps, open up to air 10 min daily and spray water to keep it humid. CO2 running at 2 bps, 8 hrs of lighting. However after 1 month, I can tell you that zero progress is seem from the tank! I started to wonder why people in youtube showing good result with DSM for DHG, but my DHG has sign of melting (although I understand that plant will go through the transition period), no runners at all. I started to think maybe is due to my lighting, not strong enough so I added another small light on top of it while searching for an answer.

    5 weeks

    It just so happen that while searching for another light in carousel, I came across a guy who is selling aquarium plant. He posted a picture of beautiful DHG carpet which caught my attention. I mgs him whether I can seek some advise from him and I told him my situation. To my surprise, he agreed and even give me his contact number for easy communication! So I fast hands fast legs watapps him to seek for advise (If happen you read my post and you are that guy from carousel who gave me advise on my set up, I would like to thank you for taking your precious time out to teach me). He ask me to give up DSM and flood my tank. Also to change my lighting. Reason is because DSM is more suitable for HC or other mini plants that roots are tiny. However for DHG, they do not need that and if everything is correct, their roots settle down very fast. He even shown me part of his set up, environment condition for growing his plants. He did not even bother to separate the DHG into few stalks, or cut them. All he do is just separated them into maybe 20-30 stalks per group and just plant like that. In my mind I was cursing what the hell, I wasted so much time doing that but you tell me you succeeded with just these simple steps?? At the end of our conversation, he told me the golden rules to grow most of the plants: Strong light + cold environment.

    So I listen to his advise and followed his set up, I changed my light to Beamworks Hi lumen 60 (EVO is too expensive), get another batch of japan DHG and try his method. My existing DHG I just let it remain in the tank so that I can see what is the different. This time I only wasted about 2 hours to plant the DHG, set up my canister filter and flood the tank. Quite satisfy with the bright lighting.



    7 weeks
    While waiting, I research online and realise that the light must manage to penetrate into soil then plant can grow. I start to think my 1st set up failed maybe is due to this reason. Just 1 morning, when I checked my tank, I saw roots runners sticking out from the new batch of DHG I planted! I really don't know how to describe my feeling!! old DHG still show nothing, but they look healthier with the new lighting. I started to believe that guy and planning to get a chiller to fulfil the cold water environment. I am using fan to cool my tank but the water evaporation is quite irritating and time consuming. I do my research again on chiller in order to get a one that suit my tank. Eventually, I closed a good deal with a guy from carousel and brought over his Hailea hs-28a at $140.

    Spending another 2 days research on how to clean the chiller (lucky that the chiller is quite clean when I dismantle the whole thing to do a clean up). I brought 2 bottles of vinegar from Seng Siong, filled up the whole chiller with it and let it stay inside for 1 day. After that, I use a power head to do a reverse loop with clean water for few hours to ensure that all vinegar and dirt are clear before using the chiller. Then I spend another 1 day soldering a external thermometer to have more accurate reading and finding suitable water tubes to connect my canister and chiller.

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    DHG continue to grow taller and more runners can be seen popping out from soil. I read a aquscaping blogger mentioned in 1 of his post that when a plant reached its maximum height, with enough nutrient and light, it will start to spread side way. So far I have not do any trimming to my DHG, afraid that it will affect the process since they are doing well now. Don't do anything is better than testing out new thing. Anyway, I curious to see how tall it can grow too.
    Last edited by KopiC; 14th Sep 2017 at 00:58.

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    Reserve for updates updates updates

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    Cool, nice layout.. my dhg didn't grow as well as I was expecting...

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    8 Weeks

    DHG continue to grow taller and more runners can be seen popping out from soil. Can see a different between 1st batch of DHG (trimmed before planting) and 2nd batch of DHG (without doing any thing). I read a aquscaping blogger mentioned in 1 of his post that when a plant reached its maximum height, with enough nutrient and light, it will start to spread side way. So far I have not do any trimming to my DHG, afraid that it will affect the process since they are doing well now. Don't do anything is better than testing out new thing. Anyway, I curious to see how tall it can grow too.






    While doing water changing, I discover a method which I find it quite useful. That is using a plastic bag. I tie it onto my water hose, the air bubble coming out from water hose is trapper inside the bag. The water will filled up the bag and flow out from side once it is full. Disturbance to my substrate is minimum. When drawing water out from tank, the plastic bag serve as a stopper too. It will stuck the inlet of the hose, give me time to go back to my tank to pull out the plastic bag to start my water drawing process.

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    Last edited by KopiC; 14th Sep 2017 at 23:03.

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    9
    weeks


    I'm sure thing wont go smoothly for a planted tank as usual. Some algae are spotted on the soil as well as the rocks. I think this type of algae is BGA, usually occurred in new tank set up. Although the tank is 9 weeks old, in fact it has just entered the 3rd weeks of tank flooding. After research, the problem could be due to the tank is not fully cycle and balance yet. Also, the nutrients in the water is more than what the plant can absorb, which give chance to the algae to grow. I make another 80% water change to reduce the nutrients, dose some Excel into the water, separate and reduce my lighting from straight 8 hours into 6 hours (7am - 10am & 7pm-10pm), hoping that the algae will reduce and eventually gone. But after 3 days, not much result achieved. Scraping the algae from rocks and vacuum away the soil that has algae on it is just a waste of time and will not solve the root of the problem. Within 2 days, the algae came back again. I see people using hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), chemiclean, erythromycin or Easy life blue exit to deal with BGA. I still cannot decide what treatment should I use and how to use it correctly so that it wont damage my plants as well as my beneficial bacteria. Any one who saw this post, can help me double confirm the algae and suggest to me which is the best method to get rid of them before they out of control.

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank



    Another photos. Can some one help to confirm is it BGA? Thanks
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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    Hello sir,


    Bro sanjaypills55 has great success growing hairgrass in his 2FT. His thread is here.


    http://www.aquaticquotient.com/forum...Hairgrass-Tank


    I don't recall him using a chiller. Neither did I for my 3FT. Chiller is good to have, but may not be necessary. Chiller helps with evaporation and maintains a constant cool temp for the tank, but at the expense of heating up your living room and also incurring that $20-$30 every month for utilities.


    It is fortunate you didn't buy the Beamswork Evo (48w) 60cm. At a depth of 30cm including soil height, your PAR value will be close to 200+ (correct me if I am wrong). Normally, you need not exceed 30-35 at that depth. I have some DHG growing nicely in the shade too and can post photos if need. Main thing is fert dosing/rich substrate + Co2. Remember that 2 low PAR value LED has far better coverage than 1 high PAR value LED. Of course the PAR rating if using 2 LEDs needs to be reasonably adequate.


    Dennis Wong is an expert. He has quite a number of youtube videos on aquarium lighting. Hope they can help you.


    https://www.youtube.com/user/xiaozhuangw


    As for your algae, I can't really see it. But what I understand is ADA aquasoil is rich in nutrients and do leech ammonia in the first few months. You will need to perform alot more "frequent" water changes now.


    If it is really BGA, then it's abit strange because, BGA only forms when nitrate level = 0 + phophaste level = HIGH, low oxygenated tank and poor water flow.


    The true way of getting rid of any type of bacteria in the water during WC is to install RO/DI system. But to filter just 64 litres of RO/DI water for a 3FT (30% WC), you will waste 64x3= 192 litres of water each time. So again, another headache.


    If you had continued with your Dry Start Method, I believe your tank should have been more stable now. Hair grass turning brown/melting is common in the first 4-5 weeks, new shoots will appear shortly after 7-9 weeks. Iwagumi tank is challenging because it runs the risk of algae bloom due to low plant density from the start with unobstructed high light.


    It's good to have the right equipment for your setup but best to monitor the progress of the tank for 1-2 months, wait for good deals then decide whether to buy additional stuff. My take is don't spend too much money in this hobby. We don't have that many hobbyist compared to some 10-15 years ago.


    Planted Tank forum in the US is also a good avenue for seeking help and they are more prompt in their replies. I am there as well.

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    Quote Originally Posted by torque6 View Post
    Hello sir,


    Bro sanjaypills55 has great success growing hairgrass in his 2FT. His thread is here.


    http://www.aquaticquotient.com/forum...Hairgrass-Tank


    I don't recall him using a chiller. Neither did I for my 3FT. Chiller is good to have, but may not be necessary. Chiller helps with evaporation and maintains a constant cool temp for the tank, but at the expense of heating up your living room and also incurring that $20-$30 every month for utilities.


    It is fortunate you didn't buy the Beamswork Evo (48w) 60cm. At a depth of 30cm including soil height, your PAR value will be close to 200+ (correct me if I am wrong). Normally, you need not exceed 30-35 at that depth. I have some DHG growing nicely in the shade too and can post photos if need. Main thing is fert dosing/rich substrate + Co2. Remember that 2 low PAR value LED has far better coverage than 1 high PAR value LED. Of course the PAR rating if using 2 LEDs needs to be reasonably adequate.


    Dennis Wong is an expert. He has quite a number of youtube videos on aquarium lighting. Hope they can help you.


    https://www.youtube.com/user/xiaozhuangw


    As for your algae, I can't really see it. But what I understand is ADA aquasoil is rich in nutrients and do leech ammonia in the first few months. You will need to perform alot more "frequent" water changes now.


    If it is really BGA, then it's abit strange because, BGA only forms when nitrate level = 0 + phophaste level = HIGH, low oxygenated tank and poor water flow.


    The true way of getting rid of any type of bacteria in the water during WC is to install RO/DI system. But to filter just 64 litres of RO/DI water for a 3FT (30% WC), you will waste 64x3= 192 litres of water each time. So again, another headache
    Thanks a lot for your input bro. I totally agreed with u on the point think carefully before purchasing of addition equipment without knowing whether I need or not. It is very important to learn from the right person than just blindly making purchase. This chiller is the result of suggestion from another plant player who has successfully grow the DHG that I failed after trying for 1 year. But I know plant and shrimps will enjoy it and it is a good buy, so I just get it. Eventually chiller quite easy to sell away if I decided not to use it.

    I also count myself lucky nv get the EVO light. Lol. If not I might face bigger issue that Can end up in restarting my tank.

    I will post more pictures for you guy to help me see what is the real problems. I encountered system error when I wanted to post more picture. At the same time, I will try Blackout method to see any improvement to the problem. A lot of thread regarding about hair grass tank has not been updated for quite sometime. So thinking are they still alive? Lol....

    Just to check. For blackout method, I still need to on my CO2? And dose excel? Any water change
    Before, or during or after the blackout?

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    Hi kopic,

    I'm having the same system error problem as you. like no matter how much you optimize your pictures it still says that the file exceeded size limits?

    What I did is I use the tapatalk app on phone when posting pictures. You can post multiple photos in your phone and it will auto resize the photos for you hassle free.

    Although I had never done the blackout before but I would disagree you doing it now. Coz right now your pictures were a bit blurry and the guys here are not able to identify the algae. There might be a better way dealing with the algae than a blackout but 1st you'll need to post some clearer pictures so they can help you.


    In my opinion the blackout method should be the last resort, when things are hopeless. It's a double edged sword that hurts your plants as much as it hurts the algae.

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    As JC suggested, black out is last resort. No need to do any of those things yet.

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    Thank JC for suggesting this app to solve uploading pic issue. It seems like some algae has changed colour from green to purple. Lol....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    Doesn't look like Blue Green Algae, BGA the color is deep, dark green and has a slimy texture. Just a small "5 cent" coin size of the algae can stink up real bad. The smell is very strong.

    Looks like green algae hair + brown hair algae; short tuff type. As for the red color ones, maybe it's red algae, but I can't seem to find much info on the web.

    By the way, your Beamswork EA is 10k (Blue+white) or the 6500k (full white) led?
    Last edited by torque6; 16th Sep 2017 at 11:31.

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    Quote Originally Posted by torque6 View Post
    Doesn't look like Blue Green Algae, BGA the color is deep, dark green and has a slimy texture. Just a small "5 cent" coin size of the algae can stink up real bad. The smell is very strong.

    Looks like green algae hair + brown hair algae; short tuff type. As for the red color ones, maybe it's red algae, but I can't seem to find much info on the web.

    By the way, your Beamswork EA is 10k (Blue+white) or the 6500k (full white) led?
    Is 10k....

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    is the what u guy keep mentioned about KN03? Or any picture for me to reference so I can get it from LFS? Thanks

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    Quote Originally Posted by KopiC View Post
    Is 10k....
    Sir, you using 10K lights all this while? 10K for fish only tank is ok, but for plants normal range can try 6500k -> 8000k.

    KNO3 powder is banned in Singapore. No longer available.

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    Quote Originally Posted by torque6 View Post
    Sir, you using 10K lights all this while? 10K for fish only tank is ok, but for plants normal range can try 6500k -> 8000k.

    KNO3 powder is banned in Singapore. No longer available.
    I have to stick to this light now cos is a new light used for only less than 2 month.... lol.... however if continue to use this light, will it cause more algae???

    Any thing that we can buy local to replace the KNO3 since my algae maybe due to lack of nitrogen....

    So far how should I treat my algae issue? I posted in plantedtank forum as well but till date, no people respond. Lol


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    Hi,

    We have the same tank setup. Looking forward to your progress. I tried DSM of Hairgrass too, those under my lighting melted, only left 1 bunch which was the furthest from my lighting that survived and growing....

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    Quote Originally Posted by KopiC View Post
    I have to stick to this light now cos is a new light used for only less than 2 month.... lol.... however if continue to use this light, will it cause more algae???
    Any thing that we can buy local to replace the KNO3 since my algae maybe due to lack of nitrogen....
    So far how should I treat my algae issue? I posted in plantedtank forum as well but till date, no people respond. Lol
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Hello, I buy my KNO3 5% liquid from Singapore Hydroponics Lushgro. It's a blue liquid bottle. I used to use Seachem Nitrogen.


    As for the lights, I believe your Beamswork has more blue spectrum which may be undesirable. The reviews on Beamswork 10k lights are generally not so good; users cite slow or no growth. However, there are some heated debate on the net as to whether blue light causes algae, some say yes, some say no. Some say plants don't care about spectrum and only look at the intensity of light.


    I myself haven't tried 10k leds before as I usually use 6500k ones for my PL last time. But LED light set temp range of 6500k limited, beamswork has one Planted version, 3 led strips 6500k (but appears greenish/yellow) so color rendition is not good. Chihiros, UP aqua etc are all using 8000k, but Chihiros some how or rather exhibits more yellow whereas UP aqua is more white. Am currently using UP aqua Z series (not ET nor T series) 0.5 watt per LED and DHG all bubbling at 45cm depth excluding substrate height.

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    Re: A new 2 Ft Iwagumi tank

    You mean u are using the same lighting? I think for DSM for hairgrass, dun trim the hair grass and just plant them straight away is better. Cos eventually they have to regrow again to curtain height before they send out runner to spread sideways. Those I trimmed before planting are sending out runner now when they reached the height before I cut them. I also face melting and rotten leave at during dry start and 1 month no progress. With melting and rotten leave during dry start, fizzy cotton like substance are growing on those leave. Compare to 2nd batch that I just plant them straight away, they send out runner on the 2nd weeks. They dun even melt and adapt very well. Conclusion is YouTube DSM for hairgrass dun seem to be effective for me. Lol....

    A bro here using DSM are growing very well for DHG. I think he also never trim them before planting. With good lighting, they will grow fast. Regret not reading his post and wasted my 1 month.

    http://www.aquaticquotient.com/forum...Hairgrass-Tank
    Last edited by KopiC; 17th Sep 2017 at 12:52.

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