Hey everyone! Recently rescaped my 5 gallon planted aquarium, and I will be starting this journal to track the progress with the improved substrate and aquascape.
My YouTube is http://www.youtube.com/user/VegasSurfer
. I will be making updates on this tank there, as well as this post.
In this setup, i was striving to get a natural, self sustaining tank. I had Organic Choice Dirt as the substrate, capped with regular black gravel. Plants included Italian Val, Rotala, Crypts, Naja Grass, and many small java ferns. I had achieved my goal with this tank, going a few months without any water changes, but the growth rate of the plants is what turned me away from the look of the tank. So, I planned up a rescape in order to renew my interest in the nano.
Tank Specs for the new setup:
5.5 Gallon Aquarium
10 Watt Compact Florescent
Mini Tom Internal Filter
Fluval Stratum Plant Substrate
Fauna: One male Halfmoon Betta
Flora: Hemianthus micranthemoides, Rotala rotundifolia, Ludwigia palustris, Ludwigia peruensis, Hygrophila angustifolia, Hygrophila difformis, Vallisneria spiralis (Italian), Cryptocoryne wendtii, Echinodorus augustofolia var vesuvius,
Here is the planned out scape idea that I originally came up with. As you can see, there are many more species of plants in this scape than the last.
So...Now that the background knowledge is out of the way, we get down to business.
In the new scape I planned to ditch the dirt and ditch the wood, while acquiring Fluval Plant Stratum and a series of red colored rocks. I was looking for a clean and unique looking tank, rather than a natural messy looking one.
I was able to order the Stratum on Amazon for approximately $12, along with free shipping. I ordered the 4.4lb, which served perfectly for the 5 gallon tank.
I then looked for the rocks I had in mind, and snatched up some very great pieces...
Now that I had both the hardscape and substrate, I could proceed in scaping the tank.
Here you can see the Fluval Stratum and Granite rock arranged in the tank. The Stratum was wonderful to scape with.
I was then forced to wait a few days before the last bunch of plants arrived from shipping. You all know how that goes...
Plants arrived, and its time to plant the tank!!
I was pleased with the initial look of the tank. Keep in mind I have yet to add the foreground plant, along with a few red stems for the background. Most of the plants, especially the willow hygro, were bent up from shipping. The Stratum was nothing like I had read it would be once the tank was filled. I read that it was light, delicate, and clouds the water upon filling. None of which were true in my case. This picture was literally 10 minutes after the tank was filed, and it is crystal clear. The plants were also easy to get into the substrate. Overall, very pleased.
A few days after setup:
Here is the tank two days after filling. The bubbles are gone, plants are straightened, and even a bit of new growth is apparent when viewing up close. I am pleased with the tank so far. The foreground plant, Pearlweed, is in transit along with the Ludwigia peruensis.