55G Journal (First attempt at an AquaScape) - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
discoveringmypath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 315
55G Journal (First attempt at an AquaScape)

Hello All,

So this is going to be my journal for my 55G. I have had this tank for 3 years, never really had any real plants in it until now. I'm fairly new to planted tanks. I have a 10G that I have been practicing on and now I want to start putting plants into my 55G.

Here is my setup:

Substrate: Organic potting soil (2 1/2 inches), play sand (1 inch)

filter: HOB Aqueon QuietFlow 55/75 (400 GPH, it says for upto 90G)

Lighting: 4 23W 5000K spiral CFL's ( I also have 2 6500K 23W bulbs on my 10G, so I might swap them out)

Ferts: I have an EI package of dry ferts (NPK and CSM + B)

- I haven't started with ferts, just put plants in today. I only have a couple plants so I figure I would hold off till I get more plants in there. What do you guys think?

CO2: I have a basic paintball setup on my 10G right now. I think I'm going to hold off on the co2 for now. see how things go without it.

Current Plants: 6 stems of Hygrophila Kompakt, 1 Anubias nana.

Plants I will be adding in the near future: Micro sword, DHG, Rotala Sunset, Luwigia Rubin, Jungle Vals.

I don't have a whole lot of each one of these, so as they grow I will propagate as necessary.

Current Fish:

6 cherry Barbs
5 Tiger Barbs
4 Siamese algae eaters
3 Chinese Algae eaters
2 Black Neon Tetra's
3 Serpae Tetras

and also 5 Ghost shrimp


The dried out wood is fairly new and still floats so I have a 2by4 and a weight on top to keep the wood in place till it sinks on its own. The tank is a bit bare right now, I have big plans though. I want to get moss growing on the wood, carpet the floor with Dwarf hair grass in the front and micro swords towards the back and add in a ton of plants. Maybe some rocks, we will see.

Anyways, here is my setup right now, I will update when I make changes. Any suggestions? Let me know what you think or any tips you might have.

Thanks for any input!!! (The pics are super bright, I will take better ones next week when I get new plants in there).
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAG0236.jpg
Views:	76
Size:	54.5 KB
ID:	231929  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAG0234.jpg
Views:	59
Size:	54.7 KB
ID:	231937  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAG0235.jpg
Views:	69
Size:	52.3 KB
ID:	231945  


Last edited by discoveringmypath; 11-08-2013 at 01:13 AM. Reason: edit
discoveringmypath is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 12:37 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
tattooedfool83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: North Providence, RI
Posts: 1,866
You need a lot more plants sooner then later, I like that wood though. But you could run into some serious algae with fresh soil and to little of plants. Get fast growing plants in the mean time to absorb the nutrients in the water column, and I would definitely hold off on dosing ferts until the tank has lots of plants. But all in all it looks good and has great potential
tattooedfool83 is offline  
post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
discoveringmypath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 315
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by tattooedfool83 View Post
You need a lot more plants sooner then later, I like that wood though. But you could run into some serious algae with fresh soil and to little of plants. Get fast growing plants in the mean time to absorb the nutrients in the water column, and I would definitely hold off on dosing ferts until the tank has lots of plants. But all in all it looks good and has great potential
Thanks, next week I'm going to be adding more plants. Not a whole lot (just the list of plants above). As time goes on I will be continually adding plants.

Ya, I agree with the dry ferts, I think for now, the fish waste, food and soil will be enough, until I get more plants. I may add the micro sword, hairgrass and jungle val this weekend. And possible go to Petsmart (only option in town) to pick up a few more plants.

It is a 3 day weekend for me, so I'm sure I'm going to want to spend money on some plants and make some changes.
discoveringmypath is offline  
post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 01:12 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
tattooedfool83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: North Providence, RI
Posts: 1,866
Quote:
Originally Posted by discoveringmypath View Post
Thanks, next week I'm going to be adding more plants. Not a whole lot (just the list of plants above). As time goes on I will be continually adding plants.

Ya, I agree with the dry ferts, I think for now, the fish waste, food and soil will be enough, until I get more plants. I may add the micro sword, hairgrass and jungle val this weekend. And possible go to Petsmart (only option in town) to pick up a few more plants.

It is a 3 day weekend for me, so I'm sure I'm going to want to spend money on some plants and make some changes.
The petsmart plants aren't bad, I've bought some and they never melted and have grown real well. But I would try and pack it with some fast growing stem plants until u get the plants u want, the soil will leach a but which could cause some algae issues. Maybe keep ur light time low until u get more plants.
tattooedfool83 is offline  
post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
discoveringmypath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 315
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by tattooedfool83 View Post
The petsmart plants aren't bad, I've bought some and they never melted and have grown real well. But I would try and pack it with some fast growing stem plants until u get the plants u want, the soil will leach a but which could cause some algae issues. Maybe keep ur light time low until u get more plants.
I'll keep that in mind, maybe keep the lights on for a shorter period each day. I have had the soil in the tank for maybe 3 weeks with gravel on top. I didn't get any algae with it like this and I ran the lights for about 8 hours a day maybe more some times.

I do see air bubbles in the sand and gravel since the change. Should I be poking at it during water changes to release some of that air?

I wanted to switch to sand and paint the back black so I drained the tank, removed all the gravel (some dirt), painted the back, added the wood and sand.

PetSmart isn't that bad, there just isn't much as far as variety goes. Okay, so I think I'm going to PetSmart tomorrow to get some more plants! lol
discoveringmypath is offline  
post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 01:53 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Mizuhuman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 426
You might also want to cut back on lighting too because you don't have enough plants to absorb the nutrients and could end up with algae problems. You said that you are going to put the micro swords towards the back of the tank. I find that interesting. How do you plan to do that? I love the driftwood by the way.
Mizuhuman is offline  
post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
discoveringmypath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizuhuman View Post
You might also want to cut back on lighting too because you don't have enough plants to absorb the nutrients and could end up with algae problems. You said that you are going to put the micro swords towards the back of the tank. I find that interesting. How do you plan to do that? I love the driftwood by the way.
One idea I was thinking was to have the center of the tank be some what of a field with DHG in the front and micro sword towards the back.

In the picture below (quick paint sketch), if we were looking down at the tank. The brown thick line would be the wood. The green line going towards the back of the tank would be tall thick background plants. The orange line going back to the green line would be smaller midground plants. And the orange line going foward would be the foreground, with DHG in the very front and Micro sword near the back of the foreground area.

I'm going to try to have it look natural, so the lines are really a general guide. I want the hair grass to grow in really thick and the micro sword be sort of patchy and random.

Thats the vision in my head right now, I'm super excited to try to get it going.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Capture.PNG
Views:	50
Size:	8.4 KB
ID:	232041  

discoveringmypath is offline  
post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 09:37 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
tattooedfool83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: North Providence, RI
Posts: 1,866
I'm excited to see how it turns out for you
tattooedfool83 is offline  
post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 12:57 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
kwheeler91's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Port Clinton, OH
Posts: 1,150
You could get some floaters like frogbit or similar to eat up nutrients while you wait more plants. Its cheap, or at least it should be because it grows ridiculously fast. Some people will throw flosters in for free if you buy plants from them. If you don't want floaters get something easy like rotala rotundifolia or stargrass they both are fast growing easy plants. I know your getting dhg and stuff but listen to everyone's warning. Hairgrass isn't a fast grower and its not really gonna pull from the water column if all it needs is in the substrate. Hairgrass is also prone to getting algae and without much else in the tank its probably going to happen to yours. Good start on this would just hate to see it sabotaged due to low plant mass.
kwheeler91 is offline  
post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 01:06 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
xmas_one's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 3,337
I like that wood, nice and bold! I'm finilally starting to realize that hardscapes need to be bold in order to not get lost once all the plants take over. Super gluing mosses and ferns (regular java fern would be quite impressive) onto that wood would look awesome. Like everyone else said, get more plants in there asap! Give me a shout if you're looking for plants, I need to do some maintenance on my 90 today and could put together a trim package for ya.
xmas_one is offline  
post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
discoveringmypath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 315
Smile

Thanks for all the advice, making a trip to petsmart today, see what I can get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwheeler91 View Post
You could get some floaters like frogbit or similar to eat up nutrients while you wait more plants. Its cheap, or at least it should be because it grows ridiculously fast. Some people will throw flosters in for free if you buy plants from them. If you don't want floaters get something easy like rotala rotundifolia or stargrass they both are fast growing easy plants. I know your getting dhg and stuff but listen to everyone's warning. Hairgrass isn't a fast grower and its not really gonna pull from the water column if all it needs is in the substrate. Hairgrass is also prone to getting algae and without much else in the tank its probably going to happen to yours. Good start on this would just hate to see it sabotaged due to low plant mass.
Thanks for the warning, I'm actually going to go to Petsmart today to get some more plants. Don't know what I'm going to get, but I will put up some pics tonight when I get everything situated. I just realized I have spent a lot of money on things to get ready for a planted tank, but not much on actual plants.

I also have a small plant package coming in the mail from a user on here. I bought some Rotala Sunset and Luwigia Rubin, so that should get here next week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tattooedfool83
I'm excited to see how it turns out for you
Appreciate it man! I love the support you get from others on here.

Quote:
I like that wood, nice and bold! I'm finally starting to realize that hardscapes need to be bold in order to not get lost once all the plants take over. Super gluing mosses and ferns (regular java fern would be quite impressive) onto that wood would look awesome. Like everyone else said, get more plants in there asap! Give me a shout if you're looking for plants, I need to do some maintenance on my 90 today and could put together a trim package for ya.
Hardscapes look amazing with plants everywhere. I have some Java Ferns, but they are small right now. Once they fill in a bit I will add them to the tank, not sure where I will place them yet. PMing you right now about the plants thanks...
discoveringmypath is offline  
post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-09-2013, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
discoveringmypath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 315
Smile

Update:

So I added 3 new plants to my tank from Petsmart:

Corkscrew Val
Red Ludwigia
Anacharis

and I also added some of my own Micro Sword.

I started my planted tank journal with my 10G. I put a pot worth of micro sword and DHG in that tank and they have both done quite well. My Micro Sword has quadrupled in the past 3 weeks and my Hair grass has done even better than that.

I'm going to be moving over the majority of each to the 55G. I moved about a third of my Micro sword over before these pics. It took quite a while, uprooting them and putting them in the 55G, so tomorrow I'm going to move some more and also the hair grass sometime this weekend.

I have two packages of plants coming from people from this forum next week as well ( Big thanks to xmas_one!), so I'm looking forward to receiving them and getting them in the tank.

Quick question about the jungle vals: a couple of them didn't have that long of roots, so I wasn't able to keep them in the sand with the crown above the sand. I put them deeper in the sand to get them to stay in place for now.

Will the roots grow while the crown is buried in the sand?

I was thinking, maybe leave it in like this for now and then in a couple days try to pull them up a bit so the crown is above the sand.

Can I do this, or should I weigh it down with rocks so the crown can be above the sand and then when the roots are long enough take off the weight?

Anyways, here are some pics, let me know what you guys think. I will have more plants next week to fill in the back, I'm also not sure if these are going to be the final resting places. I'm kind of just winging it right now.

Pictures still come out super bright. I was thinking of throwing the little one in there too, but I'm not sure if she would get along with the other fishes... (jk lol)

Is the Anabus flowering under water? I'm thinking it was grown emersed before I got it?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAG0240.jpg
Views:	41
Size:	48.0 KB
ID:	232497  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAG0241.jpg
Views:	45
Size:	51.7 KB
ID:	232505  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAG0242.jpg
Views:	39
Size:	51.0 KB
ID:	232513  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAG0245.jpg
Views:	42
Size:	58.3 KB
ID:	232521  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAG0247.jpg
Views:	36
Size:	52.8 KB
ID:	232529  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAG0260.jpg
Views:	39
Size:	42.0 KB
ID:	232537  

discoveringmypath is offline  
post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-09-2013, 10:15 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
tattooedfool83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: North Providence, RI
Posts: 1,866
Anubias does flower under water, but it was probally grown emersed, they don't melt back like crypts do so it just will seem aort of dormant until it starts setting out new leaves. The look on your daughters face with that bag of skittles is like she won the lottery. Tanks coming along quite nice
tattooedfool83 is offline  
post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-09-2013, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
discoveringmypath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 315
Question

Okay guys, I put this Rock in the tank that I got for free at a local rock and stone whole-seller.

Anyways, I just set it in there for now. What do you guys think of the placement? I want to move it to the right a bit, pretty much centered in the tank, but I don't want to make it look to symmetrical.

Does it look good where it is at right now, or should I move it to the right a bit?

Or should I have it more on the right side? (Click the image so you can see a bigger image)


I'll be growing some sort of moss on top of it eventually, maybe a couple other plants...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAG0278[1].jpg
Views:	38
Size:	66.6 KB
ID:	232689  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAG0279[1].jpg
Views:	37
Size:	53.5 KB
ID:	232697  

discoveringmypath is offline  
post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-09-2013, 10:13 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
zetvi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Florence Al
Posts: 395
In my own favor, i don't like to have things in the middle, especially one stone. Its just my point of view though. I would move the stone to the left side to hide the other end of the tree.
zetvi is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome