First off my name is Nick and I have had a fish tank in the house ever since I was a kid, 25 now. I have kept everything from guppies and goldfish, to oscars and red tail catfish (mistake I know). So I have a somewhat decent knowledge of keeping fish (not claiming I know a lot). I have never tried keeping live plants before, but absolutely love the look and idea of a fully grown in planted tank (jungle). I have been lurking around the site for a few months, and am completely blown away by just about every tank on here. So I decided to give it a shot.
Marineland 56Column, Fluval FX5 (Awesome), Eheim Jager 300w, and the basic terrible light that comes with tank. For substrate I have about 1" of pea gravel capped with about 1 1/2" of a mix of Eco complete and a "fine" gravel.
About the tank:
The tank sits along a wall of windows so it gets plenty of sunlight, I figured it would help growing plants. I set the tank up about 4 months ago and decided to put live plants in from the start and do a fishless cycle. The fishless cycle went without a hitch and I threw in a pair of platies to make sure everything would be okay before I stocked it. The platies will be moved to an outdoor pond for the summer months to reproduce. We then donate the fish, the average for the past 3 seasons is over 150 fish, to a few LFS. This will be the last season as wintering about 65 fish can get a little sketchy. Anyway, the plan for the tank was to have some small live bearers that would provide the tank with plenty of activity, color, and fry as a source of food. The source of food would be for a couple small "centerpiece" fish. The original plan was to stock a few scarlet badis, but after the LFS sold out I was sick of waiting and purchased two what look to be juvenile filament licorice gourami, about 1/2" now. Now I know they will stay small but what I would like to know is, when the Gouramis mature will they be aggressive enough to eat the fry?
2 Licorice Gourami, 2 Pairs of orange Endlers, 4 pairs of Least Killifish, 3 Otos, and 2 Platies.
Onto the plants, knowing nothing about plants I went and picked out some easy low light plants in order to keep things simple and to not get discouraged immediately. I would like to keep the tank low tech with no CO2. I use Flourish comprehensive about 1 or 2x a week, and flourish excel about 1x a week. I throw a few API root tabs in there every once in a while. I usually do about 5 or 6, 5 gallon water changes a week also to keep things fresh. My question about the plants is will upgrading the light to a coralife 30" dual light T5 be too much light? And I do have a slight algae problem with the tank, it doesnt grow fast but it grows. I think it is because of the sun light. I keep the three sides of the tank clean, but have never cleaned the back pane. I dont mind the look of it and it gives the Otos something to eat. Any thoughts on that idea?
Wisteria, Jungle Val, Anubias of some sort, Crypt of some sort, dwarf onion plant, some Java Fern and duck weed.
Now some pictures. Be nice you guys its my first planted tank. This is the tank after it was set up for about a month, before being stocked.
My little helper Bronx
Now the wisteria has grown a lot more and the crypts look pretty good. The jungle val did terrible and was removed. The Java fern is doing pretty good, and the fish really love how the duck weed is filling in. I am just letting the tank go nuts to give it a natural feel. I will put some more pictures up soon, they'll be taken with an iphone so quality will not be top notch.
In closing, I'd like to thank you for reading my long winded ramblings. I look forward to learn from the site and hear what you guys have to say.