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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 05:33 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 108
New life in an old 55


So long story short and probably like many others, I have a tank that was sitting without anything really in it (gold belly piranhas bit it after a decade) and decided hey I love plants why not try to grow them underwater.

So without really knowing all too much I went out got a t5 and some eco-complete I capped with my old gravel and was off. My old driftwood which I swear to god sat outside for months and was completely scrubbed magically sprouted java fern lace and java moss that a friend had given me years back and I pulled an anubias out of my viv. I am redoing. I was then off to the races!!!

Here is how it has progressed so far.

This is a couple months after I set everything up. Not a full tank shot but you will see what it looks like here in a second. I like the floating wood but it had nails that held on the suction cups that I thought were stainless steel but pretty sure I was wrong, leeching heavy metals = no good! Also my leftover gravel I think is a tad big and not so good for plants with more delicate roots and my cardinal plan and ludwigia (i think) were not doing so well (have been moved). Bottom containers are full of riccia and other goodies for my viv.

After I removed the floating wood and my java moss carpet really started to grow

Shot of with bamboo shrimp and anubias i took out then re-added

This was taken yesterday. I took out the cardinal plants and moved some hygrophila, also added a Madagascar lace plant which is absolutely stunning and a florida sunset crypt.

Close-up of lace

I looked empty though and since my LFS has been having a half-off sale I went back again today!!! Picked up a red rubin sword, another florida sunset crypt and some jungle val. I think it is finally getting there!

By section

This is where I am at now, still needs work/growing esp. right side. Other than plants the tank houses 2 bambooo shrimp, 3 amano shrimp, 1 SAE, 5 otos, and a small bristlenose.

Questions?- I feel my hygrophila shouldn't drop leaves like it has (note ones on left have long empty stem) it this lack of nutrients or just from being old and stretching (not enough light?- I have 108w), kind of like the bamboo look though. Also may move crypts by madagascar lace- through my research have heard this may be beneficial (for substrate?) and I though it may look cool/ add contrast.

What I have learned- Avoid metals (duh!), use smaller gravel to cap next time.

Any advice and feedback is welcome! Thanks for looking, will keep updated. thinking of adding new livestock soon (red fire shrimp, dwarf cpos, and maybe some small fish) and of course plants (fisseden, anubias petite, maybe blyxa japonica to name a few)

Also will have a journal on my pico when I get the plants out of it and into my vivarium! and decide wtflip I am going to make it look like. Looking forward to carry what I have learned in my short time into the next project.

Note to self: research plants before you buy from LFS to make sure you are getting actual aquatics- learned after getting cardinals- lost cool purple color, and mondo grass- just plain wasn't gonna make it, at least they will thrive in my viv I am setting up.

I may try to catch your fish if they are big enough
First PT- 55G

Last edited by TheRiverRat; 11-28-2013 at 08:21 PM. Reason: Added current FTS
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