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The small planted tank in Japan
Hi all there.
Since I currently live in Japan I have the chance to work with some ADA fertiliser products. I've been lurking the archives and I could see quite some comments. Therefore this. (just plain observation, I am not a salesman). My tank in Japan is a 60 liter. That is 16 gallon small, but it is a little bubbling green paradise.
- 60 liter ( 16 G) , bottom: plain gravel with some clay balls in the lower part
( but since the tank has been in operation for more than 2 years I would suspect it contains a lot of organic waste by now)
- 2 fluorescent 18W tubes
- A in Japan very common wet open filter box on top of the tank. ( works well, basicaly a powerhead sucks some water and lets it drip on a substrate, then overflow back to the tank. Since the substrate is submerged I call it a wet filter although it has a dripplate)
Plants:Watersprite, Hottonia sp.( don't know which one) , Bacopa sp., and Javamoss. A piece of driftwood and a long curly crypt.(???)
Plants were growing but not extremely well, green algae(fur) and spot algae were present.
Fish: 4 Dwarfgourami's , 2 CAE, 4 Corydoras sp. , 6 Cardinal Tetra
STEP1: I added a ADA CO2 system with the ceramic CO2 diffuser. Well, there was some oxygen production but not a whole lot although I bubbled a lot of Co2 in the water.
Then I added some E. tenellus and a cabomba sp. Both did not grow very well. Time for a change:
Tossed the ADA ceramic plate thing after 2 months. It gets dirty so easily and the bubbles are reaching the surface. Replaced with a Tetra diffucer ( looks like 20 tiny chambers on top of each other, labyrinth type . This thing diffused the double amount of CO2 in the water without one bubble reaching the surface. So far for the expensive ADA diffuser.
Result: Plant grew better with the new system, but many deficiencies. Older leaves yellowing and dropping.
STEP2: Started using Brighty K and Green Brighty STEP2 . Fe chelated addition from Dennerle(tablets) and trace element mix (liquid, Dennerle) . Following the dosing on the package Result: Yellow spots dissapearing, Lower and older leaves stay healthier, red and green algae growing faster than the plants. Test Po4: 4 mg/l .
Ok, so the phosphates ain't used?
STEP 3; tossed the filterbox on top which I suspected to be responsible for serious outgassing and reducing all the ammonia(plant food right?). Installed a 180 Liter per hour Tetra internal filter ( one of these green cartridges with a powerhead)
Result: Without any light increase, the oxygen production seemed doubled. Red algae gone within two weeks , green algae appearing but not really fast, plants grow a lot faster especially the javamoss. I suspect the CO2 reaches the plants better with the current and the ammonia was probably a bit more available.
STEP4: an additional light strip of which I use only one bulb (2 available)was added, so total input is now 3X18 =54 Watt for 16 gallon ( must be the limit , it it? ) .
From here the algae did not stand a whole lot of chance anymore, I threw in 6 Amano shrimps, very efficient hardworking fellows. The tenellus jumped into an amazing fast growing and spreading rhythm ( sends out runners to every part of the little world). The Hottonia finally started growing instead of melting, The Bacopa has much bigger, redder leaves and keeps older leaves, and the javamoss structure is very very fine and tight, nice light green.
Oxygen production: "a-ma-zing" ( I want to write capitals) . Within an hour after lights on , there are bubbles everywhere. ( it looks like if there is an oxygen diffuser)
I don't use timers for the CO2, just let it run at a steady pace. The only thing I measure is PH at lights on and light off about once a week. Water changes: 30%, once a week
( 2,5 buckets) The reason why I write this: Just wanted to share my joy and motivate people. And: if you have a tiny tank, you CAN grow a fantastic underwatergarden.In Japanese housing one cannot place these huge "western" tanks. And that expensive ADA fertiliser works perfect for me. Expensive OK, but in a small tank it goes a long way before you have to run back to the shop. Oh, and by the way, Although I have a reasonably high fish load, I measure PO4 : around 1mg/l ! ( I feed just enough so the fish don't get skiny.( Food should not reach the bottom easily, 4 times a week)
Question: Does anybody has tips to cool tanks? The moesson has started and the temperature of my tank has reached 31 degrees C.( Don't want to see my efforts cooked) I don't want to use a blower on the water surface(outgassing). I have no idea, I come from Belgium and there is never any need to cool tanks ( instead, heating them 10-12 months a year)
If this message is :"no good" for this listing, sorry and please advise me, I think we should also read about: "small" fun. ( Although it took me 6 months of thinking and adjusting on a already 2 year old tank)
"The joys of pruning" Questions about Japan. ( I know most here are Ameriacans but I saw a few Europeans and a couple of people that must be living in ADA country.
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