Yervor's Fluval Spec (Lots of pictures, and words.) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Marina Del Rey, CA
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Yervor's Fluval Spec (Lots of pictures, and words.)

Hi all. I mostly lurk around here, but I thought it would be good to start some journals (for both tracking and learning purposes).

I'm pretty much a total beginner when it comes to actual experience, so any and all help is very much appreciated.

This is an old Fluval Spec that was given to me (read: I saved from being thrown away). The light and lid are missing, and there is a crack/shattering on the side, but it hasn't posed any problems yet and I've chosen not to worry about it.

4w LED desk lamp from IKEA
Stock filter (stuffed a sponge into the outflow tube, flow is almost imperceptible)
Caribsea Instant Aquarium Substrate (inert)

Bacopa caroliniana
Hygrophila difformis (wisteria)
Hemianthus micranthemoides (baby tears)


I received a shipment of plants yesterday. The company threw in several extras and I was left with more plants than I knew what to do with.

The original plan was to do something like this:

but I had so many plants and so little space that I just took out the wood (it was the smallest I could find).

After about 4-5 hours of cursing and lots of water everywhere, I am now left with this:

The baby tears were a little worse for the wear, so they are quite yellow/pale in color. Wisteria and bacopa are healthy-looking (for now).

I cannot even begin to describe how much of a hassle it was to plant this... crap. I've never done anything more difficult. The bacopa stems are curved, so, naturally, they overshadow the other plants (it's difficult to see in the pictures). I don't really know what to do, or if there is a way to straighten them.

The tears were the worst - they made me shed actual tears. For every stem I planted, 3 floated up out of the substrate... *sigh*. It looks ridiculously messy and there are leaves all over the bottom, but I know that if I so much as stick a finger in there, everything will be disturbed and I'll probably just throw the entire tank at the wall.

How am I even supposed to plant this stuff?!

The light is weak, but it was $10 and I'm in high school with no real funds. If anyone can direct me to a nicer alternative (<$30), that would be much appreciated.

You know that feeling right after you add something to the tank? A fish, a plant, some shrimp... It's like having a new car or phone. It's so.. new. It feels good. It looks nice. Everything is perfect. It feels fantastic - a job well done. I created something beautiful.

Well, I have that feeling, but with an impending sense of dread. Like, in a week, all the plants I bought will be yellow and dying, the tank will be a cloudy mess, and I will get some message from heaven, held in the talons of a majestic eagle: "You were never supposed to be an aquarist."

But I digress.

More pictures. One day, I will learn how to take photos, but today is not that day.

The aftermath:

Plans for the future:

My dream for this tank was to have a light-colored betta (hence the reduction of filter flow). I'm really hoping to make that a possibility. I'd also like to add a couple of shrimp, and I'm hoping the plants will keep them form being harassed by the betta.

I'm going to go for a while without shrimp, though, because I just experienced a sort of genocide in another tank and I'm kind of depressed/traumatized. But I will probably start a journal for that tank today. R.I.P. Pimp Daddy and his girls, Scarlett and Pepper.

Also, I have never ever dosed ferts of any kind and I'd like these plants to live, so how do I get into that? How much are fertilizers, usually? Someone please swoop in and bestow me with your knowledge, thank you.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. If I am breaking any forum image rules, please let me know.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Marina Del Rey, CA
Posts: 16

Nothing has really changed, added 2 more bacopa stems just to have somewhere to put them. They are, unfortunately, also maddeningly curvy, but I guess I'll have to deal with it.

I finally caved and ordered a Fluval CFL fixture. I hope it won't be too much light, but the baby tears really need it. Until it arrives (sometime next week, hopefully), I'm using a massive desk lamp with a fluorescent bulb. It's ridiculously bright and puts off a lot of heat, but the tiny IKEA 4w just wasn't cuttin' it. I was hoping it would work, it was so cheap...

Also started dosing a tiny amount of Flourish Comprehensive, going for once a week (but I've no idea what I'm doing, I'm just kind of throwing stuff in lol).

Eclipse 3G - Fluval Spec 2G - 10G (in planning) - 25G Hex (undergoing restoration)
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-26-2013, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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New light arrived! Really surprised at the shipping time - I was expecting a week at the least, but it came in 2 days. Awesome.

Woke up this morning to find 2 bacopa stems and a wisteria floating... I had removed the sponge from the filter earlier because there was next to no flow, and the resulting flow ended up being too much. Today I put the sponge back in, but changed the filter setting to high. It's working splendidly; visible current, but no plants are disturbed.

I took this opportunity to pull out both wisteria. I cut off the lower leaves of both, shaved off a bit of stem, and planted them lower. Now they aren't overshadowing the tears. I also cut off some bacopa stem to make them a bit shorter.

The light is fantastic and I am very happy with it (even though the huge change in color was strange). I even saw some pearling! (I think... ) That has never happened to me before! I couldn't believe my eyes. It's only a couple of bubbles, but it's something. Maybe my dead-and-dying baby tears will make it after all?

Also, found a teeny tiny baby snail that probably hitchhiked on the plant shipments. He's adorbz.

Pictures! Again, I am no photographer, but here we go:

The prettiest bacopa stems (the ones I replanted).

Indeed, ladies and gentlemen, that is a bubble! (center, it's tiny)

Snail through a magnifying thingy:

Eclipse 3G - Fluval Spec 2G - 10G (in planning) - 25G Hex (undergoing restoration)
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-26-2013, 02:43 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 20
Glad to see you've managed to save your plants! Judging by the change in your plants Id say your on the right track ( though I am no expert myself) keep up the good work! Just wanted to let you know your not alone in the struggle

"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes"-Oscar Wild
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