The Planted Tank Forum

The Planted Tank Forum (
-   Tank Journals (
-   -   Benon's 20 Gallon Tall (5-16-10) Time flies (56K) (

benon 02-20-2010 05:58 AM

Benon's 20 Gallon Tall (5-16-10) Time flies (56K)
Tank : Aquarium Masters 20-gallon tall
Light : Aqua-something...
Filter : Zoomed 501 + Eheim Ecco (Zoomed will be gone in a few days)
CO2 : 2 Yeast Reactors hooked up to wooden airstones
Substrate : Amazonia
Plants : Java Fern, Bolbitis, Java Moss, Red Myrio, Glosso, Dwarf Tears, Mini Four Leaves, Christmas Moss, Hairgrass, Crypts... I'm probably leaving something out.
Camera : iPhone (This will change...)

May 16, 2010

Time flies... I think... About 9 days later, I've snapped another photo.

I really just like to compare photos from different time frames.

I'm sure if I were using a pressurized system, the growth would be a lot more intense. I'm still happy with the results from using DIY CO2.

The second powerhead has been inactive for quite some time now. I've left the tank with just one powerhead and one mix of DIY CO2. It's been working fine.

The bolbitis is growing in great. Red myrios are not doing so great. I started dosing iron. They're alive, but not very red.

May 7, 2010 I wonder if the ferns will fill in even more?

Wow, very unexpected growth from the ferns.

Looking at this tank on a day to day basis, I didn't notice any growth. My thoughts were "do I have enough CO2? lighting?" And then I realized they're plants.

I did a trim today, pulled most of the dead leaves off, gently brushed the moss with my fingers, waved the mini java moss around a little bit, replanted a few stems of HC and spread those around. My plants seem a little happier today. I try to be minimally invasive when maintaining my aquariums, so 10-15 minutes (at most) with my gross hands every few days.

I wanted to tear this tank down many times...

Here's a full-tank shot. It's not an ADA beauty, but it did the trick. I kept my eyes on the plants and they responded. If anyone is bored, scroll down and look at the little java fern I pinned up between the corner of the glass and that piece of driftwood on the left. It really grows out nicely! Hard to believe it all started from just a few leaves.

Here's a frontal day shot. I actually like it.

When I first started this tank, I was a complete newbie with about 3 years of experience barely maintaining my nano-cube. I didn't care much for it and lost interest.

My interest sparked again a few months ago, and I got into this hobby full-steam. I'm not going anywhere with it now.

I think regular maintenance is the key to a nice aquarium. I don't really think the equipment needs to be that good... Just the setup and maintenance.

April 26, 2010 (Day 66) "Ferns are faaast..."

I can definitely see some growth almost 3 weeks later. I can't wait to see the ferns entirely filling the top region. I don't know if I need to switch to pressurized. I think I will route 2 2-liters into a single gas-separation chamber and have it diffuse through a single powerhead (with attached reactor). I think with that setup I should have sufficient CO2. I've been playing around with the settings of diffusing DIY CO2, and found a powerhead is far superior to a simple stone. Though I think only one powerhead will be sufficient as long as there is an attached chamber to react the bubbles inside of.

I also began dosing with Brighty K (potassium) - This has proven to be a very positive ingredient in my tank and I will continue to dose this.

Also found that the Bolbitis attaches very easily to driftwood. Since planting, I have been splitting the rhizome up into different plants and moving them about the driftwood. It seems this promotes growth.

April 8, 2010 (Day 48) "Ferns are slooow..."

Just trying to compare to the previous photo... I think I see growth, I think... Just did a nice water change and remixed the DIY CO2. More waiting now. . .

March 31, 2010 (Day 40) "Bolbitis Arrival"

Lots of bolbitis arrived for me. Cut it up and pinned it to some driftwood. I still want to add some more. This bolbitis looks different from the bolbitis I purchased at Aqua Forest Aquarium.

Bolbitis arrival! I can't wait until it all grows!

On the cutting board for inspection

March 25, 2010 (Day 34) "Fern Love"

I love ferns. The other way to achieve some bushiness. I love how the direction of each leaf can be controlled. At the store yesterday, I saw a nice roll of stainless steel wire encased in some type of synthetic polymer (a roll of twisties) and was tempted to buy it ($8!), but ended up using the twisties that came with my ferns.. I love tying things to rocks and driftwood, more so than planting stems of HC. Both are fun, both are vital to a successful scale I think, but in the end I feel it is all about patience. Added some LACE java fern! Also added the driftwood to the right that I had been soaking and brooding over... "is it going to look ok...?" Eventually just shut my thoughts up and put the damn piece of driftwood in there. I think it looks ok. I've added some rock-scaping in the back that you can't see, but it will be covered in moss and will create a very nice spacial effect.

I've ordered about 7 bunches of Bolbitis online. It should get here next week, which hopefully will add more green hues to the entire scape to tie all the colors together.

March 23, 2010 (Day 32) "Bolbitis is the theme ingredient"

Did some bolbitis-tying to driftwood. I like the way this plant grows, and sort of looks like seaweed. I've decided I love this plant, and will do everything in my power to tie as much bolbitis as I can to the "L" shaped piece of driftwood (which I can remove very easily, as opposed to the other pieces). My "collectoritis" can stop for now, I have my theme ingredient!

(I found it hard to tie bolbitis using twine, but after a few tries I got the hang of it. I need to buy more tomorrow so I can really get a few of them on the driftwood)

Thanks for reading / viewing!

sapphoqueen 02-20-2010 09:47 AM

start it now, let's us see more!

benon 02-22-2010 02:55 AM

New plants
Just got some new plants placed in the background. Will update that soon.

JennaH 02-22-2010 07:19 AM

a 501 is kind of a slow flow rate for a 20 gallon- max 79 gph so it's prob more like 60gph with media and whatnot. you may want to add a second zoomed or look into the sunsun which has gotten some decent reviews on here recently and the price is pretty good for the flow rate

accordztech 02-22-2010 08:52 AM

please tell me that your power strip isnt behind the tank...water falls on that you got a really big problem.

benon 02-22-2010 09:07 AM

accordztech : I moved it off to the side. There is still risk of water touching it. I should get a longer cord.

jennaH : Would having another filter or doubling the zoomed affect growth?

JennaH 02-24-2010 06:00 AM

no it will just help turn the water over through the filter(s) more times per hour. this keeps the water cleaner/clearer and improves the flow through the tank. "dead spots" are areas of the tank where the water isn't flowing and can get alot of buildup and algae.

benon 03-09-2010 11:36 PM

Updateed pics.

I have since added more plants, six amano shrimp (several months old), one algae eating shark (3 years old), and a second DIY reactor.

I will be adding some more carpetted plants mixed in with the baby tears. I'm thinking about removing the thicker piece of driftwood to the right, in exchange for possibly a rock or several more tangled pieces of driftwood.

I've been told baby tears don't work well with DIY CO2, but mine seem to be doing alright after 2 weeks.

I'm considering going with an eheim Ecco for this tank, but I feel like the zoomed 501 is doing the trick right now.

!shadow! 03-10-2010 12:12 AM

l used to have the same turbo co2 bio system reactor, it worked pretty well until l moved to pressurized and well you know that story.

benon 03-10-2010 12:18 AM

I'm challenging myself to stay on a budget. This tank may receive pressurized CO2 though, as I love just adding more and more plants every week or so.

I also removed that venturi pump and just put a wooden airstone on the other end (My amano shrimp love it). That venturi pump is useless, though I have it in my current tank to assist the zoo-med 501's current.

Tamelesstgr 03-10-2010 01:57 AM

Nice job on the scape, I have a 20 gallon also.

benon 03-10-2010 05:04 AM

Hey thanks...

I'm thinking about driftwood... definitely more driftwood... lots more driftwood...

benon 03-20-2010 05:04 AM

I threw down on an eheim ecco 60-gal. It is one nice filter and I'm totally glad I bought it. It will be doing some coop work with my Zoomed until this filter is cycled up nicely.

!shadow! 03-20-2010 05:07 AM

What kind of sand did you use?

benon 03-20-2010 05:25 AM

nile sand and amazonia.

I think... something is wrong with my phone camera. The pictures I took today are really terrible. In the beginning, pictures were good... Now they stink.

All times are GMT. The time now is 12:33 PM.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.