First Planted Tank, 36g Bow - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Western PA
Posts: 393
First Planted Tank, 36g Bow

Well this is my first attempt at a planted tank, I'd love some feedback and comments. I've had a betta fish in a tiny vase for over a year and stumbled upon an aquarium site while looking for a bigger tank for him. I saw some truly wonderful tanks and decided to first upgrade my betta and then build a bigger tank for display in my living room.

I got a 36g Bowfront off of craigslist, along with a stand and light for fairly cheap.

Here are the basics of the tank:
Tank: 36g Bowfront
Light: Fugray 30" LED
Filter: Aquaclear 300
Heater: Aqueon 150W Pro
Substrate: 2 bags Eco-Complete, half a bag of aquarium sand
Plants: anacharis, Micro Chain Swords, Anubis Nano, Java Fern, Java Moss, Crypts, Amazon Sword

Here is the hardscape I set up last night:

I wanted to go with sort of an underwater river scene with the lighter substrate being a river through the middle with a more foresty woody feel on the right and a mountain/cliff feel off to the left. I had originally intended to have the river come in at more of an angle, but the viewing angle from my couch seemed to favor this more straight on look.

Got the plants today, hoping the chain swords will propagate into more of a carpet eventually, and that the anacharis will grow and conceal the filter/heater. The drift wood has some java moss that will hopefully take hold and cover it somewhat. I am also getting some more moss that I will attach to the rocks.

The angle is kind of poor, but the rocks actually overhang the sand by about 4" making a mini cave that I think my cory cats will appreciate when I start stocking.

Due to an extended vacation this summer my stocking won't begin until early August. In the meantime I need to figure out the best way to keep my plants fertilized and growing in the absence of fish waste.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 02:39 AM
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 86
I can't help you with the vacation, my only suggestion is root tabs before you leave..

But I mainly wanted to post to say I think this looks great! I love it! I can't wait to see this grow in!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 02:43 AM
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Location: NH
Posts: 1,413
Looking good!

Multiple planted tanks 1.75g to 55g.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 08:37 AM
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Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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Looks good.. I like the river!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Western PA
Posts: 393
Well I got my moss last night and attached it to the rocks. Some Fissidens and Peacock moss. The string is pretty hideous but once it attaches and fills in it should look better I hope. Here is the tank now, slightly underexposed so it doesn't look like its glowing. This is closer to what it looks like in real life.


I also found a few snails crawling around today. I must have missed the eggs when I washed the plants. They are incredibly tiny so I can't get a good picture of them yet, but here is one that was chilling on my heater. I'm not sure if I should start removing them now or let them be and let them eat some of the leaves that die off during acclimation.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 05:48 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 416
That moss is gonna look nice on those rocks once it grows in. I used string to attach some of my mosses. I just don't know when to take it off I'm scared the stuff is going to fly off.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Western PA
Posts: 393
Well I haven't updated this for a while. It has been a very busy summer but the tank has been growing in well. I finally started cycling about 3 weeks ago and it is fully cycled at this point and ready to go.

I have a diatom problem at the moment, but hopefully it will be gone in a few more weeks.

The pygmy chain swords all died, they just never took root, not sure what happened there. I replaced them with some "compactas" from Petco that were overgrowing my Betta tank, and those are growing quite well now.

I got a bunch of Amano shrimp and a school of 10 zebra danios this past weekend, i'll try to get some pictures of them up soon. Cory Cats, neon tetras and a dwarf gourami will follow in the coming weeks.

Last edited by aja31; 08-21-2013 at 05:18 PM. Reason: show signiture
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Western PA
Posts: 393
As promised here is an update now that I have gotten some fish and shrimp.

I got 10 Zebra Danios and 5 Amano shrimp to start off with. I seem to have an even mix of male and female danios, but I don't have anything set up to save the eggs or fry so I don't suspect i'll have to worry about baby fish. The shrimp have been cleaning like crazy, but they stick to the right half of the tank where there is more hiding places. They seem to be doing well, at least one of the shrimp has molted this past week.

Shrimp Friends:

Danio Friend:

Tank as of this morning:

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