Mistuhmarc's 20 Gallon Long|2 Gallon Shrimp Cube - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 76 (permalink) Old 05-30-2014, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Mistuhmarc's 20 Gallon Long|2 Gallon Shrimp Cube

Hey there TPT, so since I decided to take summer classes to stay on track with my major, I had to find a new place to stay at over the summer while I can attend classes. Unfortunately, this meant I had to move everything, including moving a few tanks to my friend's place while I stay at theirs for the time being. I had three tanks with me, a 10g, a 5g, and a 2.5g. Unfortunately, due to the amount of space I now have, I can only fill up one of the tanks in my room. HOWEVER, this allowed me to think up of a new landscape to fill my tank with. So for the time being, until summer classes end, this will be my new landscape .

Tank Details:
De-Rimmed 10gallon

Specs:

18" Finnex Ray2 suspended above the tank with about 2 inches above water.
I looked up a thread I saw about hanging finnex features, and I have to say, it works really well.

Said fixture in question:
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Paintball co2 tank with aquatek regulator and GLA tank diffuser.
I have two filters in tank. Zoomed 501 with spray bar and aquaclear 20 with pre-filter sponge.
50w marina heater
EI Dosed

Substrate:
Mixture of Eco-Complete on bottom with aquasoil on top

Hardscape:
Seiryu Stone

Plants:
Blyxa Japonica
Dwarf Hairgrass Sp. 'Belem'
Alternanthera Reineckii 'Mini'

Inhabitants:
5 x Otocinclus
7 x Amano Shrimp
1 x Cherry Shrimp (testing to see if they'll do well in this tank)
1 x Assassin Snail


Started with the hardscape. My rocks aren't THAT big, but they were enough for me to figure out a landscape. Tried as best I could to make it look right and in the end, this is what I came up with. I also banked up the two corners to give it depth, while leaving a small canyon in the middle.

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After securing the hardscape, I added blyxa in the corners, dhg 'belem' in the foreground and AR 'Mini' in the middle within the canyon. I'm hoping as it grows out, it'll look like a forest of red in the middle with the belem hairgrass creating a nice green foreground that gives off a contrast of green against red.

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Left side:

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Right side:

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So I stayed up until 4 am last night trying to set up the tank so I could put the tank mates in right away. Filling up, it got really cloudy cause of the aquasoil. Got really sleepy, so I just left the shrimp and otos in a bucket with a bubbler so they'd be fine for the night.

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This was this morning after I woke up to it being clear. It looked really nice, but I feel as if something was missing. Had a friend check it out and he told me the AR 'Mini' was too dense. You can see my emersed tank down below. It has HC, DHG 'Belem', UG, and Hydrocotyle Sp. Japan growing. The UG's growing really slowly compared to the others.

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This morning I dropped the shrimp and otos into bags and had them acclimating in the tank for about 30 minutes. Did pretty well. They slowly retrieved their color.

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And then here we have it:


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this is my tank from my view when I wake up. It's sitting on a rack I got from another friend. The particle board seemed weak to me, so I stacked two on top of each other to make it support better.



Any suggestions on the tank? I'd like to hear more.
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post #2 of 76 (permalink) Old 05-31-2014, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Talked to the owner of the lfs here in Richmond, he recognizes me every time I walk in. This time, I got a little present for my tank. I had a thread back in the fish section of TPT asking about which fish to decide to put into the tank, but I guess on impulse, I wanted to buy them right away. So......

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Here's a school of 10 green neon tetras. They're schooling pretty well, seeing a lot of grouping than shoaling from it seems, but it's probably cause they're still scared.

While I was it, I decided to take a few other pics too:

Assassin Snail
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Relaxing Oto
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Amano
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Fish haven't been eating, but I assume it's because they're still not used to the surroundings. I'll feed em brine shrimp tomorrow morning and see if they'll eat that.
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post #3 of 76 (permalink) Old 06-01-2014, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Got the neons to nibble at brine shrimp, but they're not really eating a whole lot of it. Anyone got any tips on how to get them to eat? Or should I get some live food to get them interested? I also have some frozen bloodworms and I'm thinking of trying those out tomorrow.

Put in some more emersed belem hairgrass that I had growing in the tank below. I noticed that the left side had less hairgrass than the right, so I tried to even it out to make it look "fuller".

Took out about 10 runt stems of alternanthera reineckii mini for a buyer who was looking to grow it emersed. I'm debating about taking out the blyxa and putting in a different type of stem to make a 'bush' like forest in the two ends. I'm also thinking of getting a few stems of downoi to cover some of the areas in the middle.
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post #4 of 76 (permalink) Old 06-01-2014, 09:20 PM
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Are you sitting there watching to see if your neons eat? My neon won't eat unless I walk away.. When I peek around the corner he'll be nibbling like crazy. But not if I'm near the tank. Shy guy

My 5 gallon, being reborn.
My 29g "Jungle Heaven"
Fraternity of Dirt #165
CR500 Rider, RIDE RED

Last edited by CluelessAquarist; 06-01-2014 at 09:20 PM. Reason: Typo.. One day I'll learn to proof read :)
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post #5 of 76 (permalink) Old 06-01-2014, 09:24 PM
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Oh! It's just personal preference but one thing I'd do if I were you is spraypaint the PVC light stand black to make it sort of "disappear".

My 5 gallon, being reborn.
My 29g "Jungle Heaven"
Fraternity of Dirt #165
CR500 Rider, RIDE RED
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post #6 of 76 (permalink) Old 06-01-2014, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CluelessAquarist View Post
Are you sitting there watching to see if your neons eat? My neon won't eat unless I walk away.. When I peek around the corner he'll be nibbling like crazy. But not if I'm near the tank. Shy guy
Mmm yeah, I usually stay to watch them eat mainly because when they eat, it helps me see if they'll like the food or just waste it and to see if they're suffering any illnesses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CluelessAquarist View Post
Oh! It's just personal preference but one thing I'd do if I were you is spraypaint the PVC light stand black to make it sort of "disappear".
That'd be a good idea. I'll probably do it once I move out since I don't really want to take it down at the moment just to spray paint it.



I'm also trying to consider what I should do with the background, either frost it, or create a black background to make colors pop out more. Both ideas sound good.
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post #7 of 76 (permalink) Old 06-01-2014, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistuhmarc View Post
I'm also trying to consider what I should do with the background, either frost it, or create a black background to make colors pop out more. Both ideas sound good.
I like black backgrounds a lot, but from what I've seen just in pictures on here, using the frosted background gives the tank more "depth" or dimension. Not sure why it looks that way to me, but I'm planning to scape my 28g and I'm making the same decision for my background. I'll probably go frosted just because it's not done much.

My 5 gallon, being reborn.
My 29g "Jungle Heaven"
Fraternity of Dirt #165
CR500 Rider, RIDE RED
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post #8 of 76 (permalink) Old 06-01-2014, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CluelessAquarist View Post
I like black backgrounds a lot, but from what I've seen just in pictures on here, using the frosted background gives the tank more "depth" or dimension. Not sure why it looks that way to me, but I'm planning to scape my 28g and I'm making the same decision for my background. I'll probably go frosted just because it's not done much.
That's true. I think what I'll do is give it some time before I decide what kind of background I should put for the tank. In either way, it should look better than before.
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post #9 of 76 (permalink) Old 06-02-2014, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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So today, I did what CluelessAquarist suggested and stayed farther away from the tank so the fish were comfortable eating. To my entertainment, the amanos would fight each other for the bloodworms. The neons on the other hand still avoided the food, but snatched it every now and then when they had the chance. Getting better results, but I'm hoping they're doing better.

On another note, I had a small project for myself. Was looking through diy projects for backgrounds to help myself research about what would make a tank look best. With this info, I learned that black backgrounds makes for a better "pop" in coloration while frosted-like backgrounds help create a feeling of depth. With this in consideration, I thought more about creating a depth for my tank.

Since I'm a college student with no job, I opted for cheaper alternatives since I just recently spent most of my leftover money for a uhaul vehicle to move. While searching, I turn up with this: http://www.aquascapingworld.com/thre...purposes.5602/

Essentially, it explains that you could use a piece of tracing paper, along with different colored bags as well leds to create a nice background for the tank. I didn't have any colored bags or leds at the moment, so for now, it's just the tracing paper. Luckily for me, the art store nearby sold single sheets of tracing paper, leaving me only paying under $3 for an 18 by 24 inch sheet.

Here I have the sheet being measured and cut to size.

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You can tell that the tracing paper is still see-through since light still passes through it with ease, but is enough to make it so that it can make other things behind the tank "invisible".

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Here's a before and after pic of the tank after installing the piece of tracing paper as a background. It's not much of a difference, but you can tell that the objects behind the tank have "disappeared". The cords as well as the HOB filter have been covered from view.

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That's it for now. The otos have some really fat bellies, so I believe they're eating their own fill of food, which is good considering there's a good 5 of them in the tank.

Tank's definitely looking better than I first set up. Plants are giving off a more vibrant shade of color than previously.

Last edited by mistuhmarc; 06-02-2014 at 08:54 PM. Reason: Added an extra comment.
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post #10 of 76 (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 12:48 AM
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Looks great so far On the subject of the LED lighting for the background, here is a tank that looks great using the same idea. 75 Gallon tank - adventures in budget aquascaping **8/31/14**

My 5 gallon, being reborn.
My 29g "Jungle Heaven"
Fraternity of Dirt #165
CR500 Rider, RIDE RED
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post #11 of 76 (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CluelessAquarist View Post
Looks great so far On the subject of the LED lighting for the background, here is a tank that looks great using the same idea. 75 Gallon tank - adventures in budget aquascaping **8/31/14**
Ah yes, his journal. It's a terrific journal and I love the way he placed the rocks. Yeah I'm thinking about doing something similar to that. There were a few items on amazon and fleabay that led sets with a build in remote that could give you several different variations to choose from. I think it's great and I'm planning on trying that out.
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post #12 of 76 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Received some regular Baby Tears in the mail today (Thanks @junglefowl!). I planted those in the back, then trimmed them to make it appear less messy than it would appear to be.
I moved the Blyxa Japonica forward to allow space for the HM in the back, but do you guys think I should just remove the Blyxa and let the Baby Tears just cover up the entire back in a giant bush?

Also trimmed the AR Mini a little and moved a few of the stems to a couple of other places. I removed the smaller heater because it wasn't working since it would constantly flicker on and off.
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post #13 of 76 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 11:18 PM
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If it was up to me, I would replant the red plants and nestle them in the rocks. I thought the plant in the foreground was blyxa? Is the red plant also blyxa?


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My 5 gallon, being reborn.
My 29g "Jungle Heaven"
Fraternity of Dirt #165
CR500 Rider, RIDE RED
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post #14 of 76 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CluelessAquarist View Post
If it was up to me, I would replant the red plants and nestle them in the rocks. I thought the plant in the foreground was blyxa? Is the red plant also blyxa?


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That would seem like a good choice, but I have Hydrocotyle Sp. Japan already growing in the nook and crannies of the Seiryu stone. I might move all of the AR mini into the middle and RAOK the rest of the extras if I decide what to do with it.

The plant in the foreground isn't blyxa and so aren't the red plants. The plant in the foreground is Eleocharis Sp. Belem, which is a variation of dwarf hairgrass that grows shorter and curls outwards as opposed to the more widely known dwarf hairgrass parvula. The red plants are Alternanthera Reineckii 'Mini' which is like regular AR, but stays low.
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post #15 of 76 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 01:49 AM
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You're welcome! I'm glad the plant has a good home.
BTW, your tank looks amazing! I like to leave it as is and wait for the HM to grow taller in the back
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