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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-30-2009 02:01 PM
bherren1 So it's been a while. This tank is really nice because it just does it's own thing with minimal input on my behalf. It is by far my most successful (yes, success is in the eye of the beholder) attempt at a planted tank.

My Trigonostigma heteromorpha have been hanging out beneath the leaves of my Sunset Hygro and showing some breeding behaviors but have yet to do the deed. Or maybe they have and have just eaten the eggs. I do not suspect that this is the case as my water parameters are not ideal when compared to the literature for this species. I'm not looking to breed them, but it is still a nice display.

The Trident Java is no more. I gave it to my neighbor. It just never took off that close to the light and really didn't suit this tank anyway. I think I'm going to get rid of the other ferns as well. They are the only plants not thriving in this tank and really seem out of place.

Here are a few updated pics:

FTS 29 NOV 09. The left background is still lacking. I have some C. 'balansae', C. spiralis and Bacopa monnieri that are growing, just not as fast as the Sunset Hygro.

Sunset Hygro is a weed for sure. It grows like mad in this tank and has colored up nicely. It is in need of a trim at the moment. I am waiting until this Friday to trim it because I am giving the trimmings away at a club meeting Friday night.

I think that once I get enough Rotala rotundifolia(I have some in another tank. I am waiting for about 30 stems) it will replace the Sunset. IMO the leaves of the Sunset are just too large for this tank. Another option is some Limnophila aromatica and Rotala macrandra 'green narrow leaf'. But I'm not sure how well any of these would do without ferts and CO2. From what I have read Rotala rotundifolia and Rotala sp. 'green' are less demanding as far as lighting and CO2 are concerned, so I may try those. I just need to find enough Rotala sp. 'green'.......
11-17-2009 11:47 PM
bherren1 Finally the background is starting to fill in. Here are some updated pics:

FTS 11/17

Right Side 11/7

Left Side 11/17

The Hygrophila polysperma 'rosanervig' and Bacopa monnieri are growing well. I have not been adding any ferts. I speculated that I might start, and did for twice, but it really isn't necessary with this tank so far. Things are growing well and the Sunset Hygro is coloring up nicely w/o ferts. I'm liking this tank more and more every day.

I fear that the larger leaves of the Sunset Hygro may be a little over-sized for this size tank. But maybe I have just been reading too much about scaling of plants over on Aquascaping World. Perhaps in the future I will try a nice bush of Rotala macrandra "green narrow leaf". I have it in my high tech set up but I'm not sure how well it would grow in this low tech, non-CO2 set up. Any thoughts?

My biggest concern right now is the fact that every thing is growing well except my ferns. All three really aren't doing anything. The trident Java is faring the worst. It may be to close to the light on top of my stump. It is curling and browning and not putting out any leaves. None of my ferns are putting out new leaves for that matter. I may move the trident down or take it out completely. Any thought on spurring growth in my fern?
11-12-2009 11:13 PM
Heatherdersh Beautiful tank!

And I'm so with you on the crypt melt. I got my lutea about a week ago and it's just falling apart. I'm going to hate waiting for it to regrow!
11-12-2009 10:55 PM
hydrophyte That looks great and it will be real good when the hygro fills in a little more.

Your dog is super cute. I like boxers a lot too they are so sweet-natured.
11-12-2009 10:26 PM
bherren1 good point. gonna do that. my excuse was always that it would be harder to make adjustments. but that heater has been rock solid and holds steady temps year round. i have not had to adjust it in 3 years. even after a 3 month hiatus.
11-12-2009 08:24 PM
demonbreedr16 Lookin' good! But an idea...Why don't you have the heater at gravel level with it being Horizontal? Mine always look good that's just, I broke my stealth, so my el-cheap-o can't go that way.
11-12-2009 08:17 PM
bherren1 thanks for the nice compliments. i think i'm gonna leave it alone for a while and just let it grow.

started dosing ferts on a very limited basis when i put that hygro in. i need to dose to get the hygro to color up. since i already have it on hand i'll dose excel, flourish, &NPK. excel daily, trace twice/week and NPK twice/week. when that runs out i'll use some of the dry ferts for my other tank. i'll play around with amounts and frequency until i get it right. my goal is minimal input and have the plants look their best. we will see.
11-12-2009 03:27 PM
smcbaranek Beautiful tank, I really like your piece of DW, excellent center piece.
11-12-2009 03:10 PM
redfalconf35 Very nice! If it keeps growing like this, it'll shape up to be an amazing tank! Once that java fern grows in, you won't even be able to tell that there's equipment in there.
11-12-2009 12:16 AM
bherren1 Well, it's been a while since I promised pics of the new stuff added to this tank. It being Veteran's Day I had no classes today so I did a little maintenance. I moved the C. 'balansae' "stumps"...most of the old leaves melted, but some new ones are growing. Things happen very slowly in this tank so I added some Hygrophila polysperma and Bacopa monnieri I got from another tank to A. Help get more plants in the background faster and B. To alleviate my impatience from watching plants grow. I have also added 3 Amano Shrimp who are, as advertised. voratious algavores. Enough talk, here are some crummy updated photos:

FTS 11 NOV 09

OTO 11 NOV 09

SIDE 11 NOV 09

11-05-2009 04:48 PM
bherren1 Got my C. 'balansae' in today. I'm pretty sure they were cultivated emersed. It will take at least a month for them to melt and start to regrow and then another 6-8 weeks for them to near their potential. So that's 3 months until I will be able to tell if I like the look or not. Patience is a virtue that I impatiently wish to achieve. DAMN YOU CRYPT MELT!!!! OK, composure regained.....Pics when I get back from class.
11-05-2009 04:50 AM
bherren1 I added 5 Amano shrimp and took out the ghost shrimp today. These shrimp are HUGE! Tried to get some pics for you guys to see but all the shrimp were asleep. But, I'm sure you now what these shrimp look like. My new background plants, Crypt 'balansae', will be here tomorrow. Look for new pics of the tank tomorrow evening.
11-02-2009 05:37 AM
bherren1 Nothing new on the inside of the tank to report except that the fuzz algae is all but gone. If it comes back I will probably try adding a faster growing, nutrient sucking, easy to care for stem plant like some of the sunset hygro I have in my other tank. As for now I have finally decided to go with Cryptocoryne crispatula 'balansae' for the background. I purchased 5 plants today. They should arrive mid-week. I'll post pics as soon as I get them planted in the tank.

I have also been contemplating obtaining some RCS to add a bit more color to the tank. I just need to find someone selling them....
10-31-2009 02:18 AM
sewingalot I was never crazy about vals. They seemed algae prone to me. However, you are looking for some algae, so..... Yeah, it could be a cool riparium. I think the betta would be a cool addition to the type of tank. They are super cool.
10-31-2009 12:55 AM
bherren1 Great tip for the algae, thanks! I could move the heater, but I want a tall, densely planted background which will eventually cover it. The Microsorum pteropus "Trident" on top of the driftwood used to hide it but I trimmed off several of the older, ragged leaves and now the heater sticks out like a sore thumb. I was thinking of planting either Vallisneria americana gigantea or Cryptocoryne crispatula 'Balansae' back there but I am definitely open to suggestions....

Actually, before I set up this tank I had been thinking of setting it up as a riparium. I had read through hoppy's and hydrophyte's journals a few months ago. I also went to hydrophyte's site, as well as a few others, and read up on them a little. And now you've got yours going. I also read some of the stuff on Chuck Gadd's site about building a background that could go in a riparium, some neat ideas there...Any way, this tank is tall enough at 18". I think it would make a cool riparium. I could leave the plants I have in the tank now and I would try to rearrange the driftwood a bit and still incorporate it in the design. if I'm not mistaken Java Moss grows emersed as well as the 'Trident'. What do you think?
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