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tinkerpuppet 10-27-2012 09:40 PM

Tinkerpuppets low tech 29g
I got my new tank up and running! I got a assortment of plants from a fish auction, not sure how much I love them, but fine for now. I have a feeling things may change...


8000k Daylight fluorescent T8
Aqueon 30 filter
100w Aqueon heater
Black flourite capped with gravel

I'm a bit fuzzy here, the auction wasn't very specific
Bacopa (stems back left)
Egeria Najas (stems back middle)
Hornwort (stems behind dw)
Java fern (?? hard to see, back of dw)
Red stems (?? not a clue)

nothing yet, need to cycle first

Totally open to suggestions. I think I need something along the right wall, although when sitting in our living room, that's a viewing side, I don't want it completely planted solid. And the sponge filter won't be staying, its from my other tank just helping with the cycle.

GMYukonon24s 10-28-2012 12:38 AM

Nice start to the tank

Hilde 10-28-2012 04:13 PM

The 2 plants on the left probably won't live with that low light. Only other plants that will grow with that light are ferns.

I too have a 29G. After adding a few T8 bulbs and a PC light fixture changed to a T5NO light strip. I wasted money trying 3 T8 bulbs. Pet Blvd sells it cheap under brand name Coralife. Pet Smart sells it under Aqueon brand name.

tinkerpuppet 10-28-2012 04:58 PM

GMYukonon24s, thanks! It definitely is just a start. I don't like how 'wispy' it is (does that make sense?). But now that its at least up and running, I can change things out as I go.

Hilde, Thanks for the tips on the light! I do want to keep this low light, and to be honest, I don't love that back left plant. Too bad about the front left one, I do like that one. But there are lots of other low light plants I like too. I found a 13000k t8 bulb that I might change out to, but I'll wait for a few weeks and see what happens here first.

One thing that I am regretting is capping with the gravel. I have and like that look in my 10g, but I wish I had just stuck with the black flourite in this one for a change. But maybe once its more densely planted and I have some colourful fish in there it won't matter so much.

Hilde 10-28-2012 05:16 PM


Originally Posted by tinkerpuppet (Post 2059569)
One thing that I am regretting is capping with the gravel.

Add a dark background and the contrast may appeal to you.

I added a dark blue background using silk material. Thus next thing I am going to do is take some of the black sand out and cover it with river sand. I got the river sand, which is brown, at a landscaper co for $3.

Perhaps you can a light at an aquarium club in your area. That is what I did.

Another option for a light is Hanging T5HO as Hyzer did

tinkerpuppet 10-31-2012 07:58 PM

Not too much to report with this tank. I'm waiting for the cycle, I added a bunch of filter media from my other tank, so hopefully that helps to speed things up.

The plants are a disaster. The hornwort I learned doesn't root, and is now floating. I think that will be going to live in one of my stepdads tanks. I really don't like the stem back left. I think that will go too. I really like the front left plant, but the new leaves are green. I think I'll be upgrading the bulb soon. I want to keep this low light, but still be able to maintain some basic plants.

I like the anubias and the driftwood. But otherwise this is still a blank slate. If I'm going to start tearing out the plants, I think I may try scooping out the gravel and adding some more flourite.

Hilde, I do have a black background, although its just construction paper, not a rich super black paint. I thought about painting it when I set it up, but to be honest I'm just horrible with paint of any kind and the mess I would've made wasn't worth it, lol!

But I do want a different look then my 10gal. This is still feeling a bit like a copycat. And I think one of my biggest problems is the scale. I'm just used to working with a little tank.

So here it is. I'll make the changes over the next few weeks. Not rushing with this one!

Hilde 10-31-2012 08:17 PM


Originally Posted by tinkerpuppet (Post 2063179)
The hornwort I learned doesn't root, and is now floating.

Hilde, I do have a black background, not a rich super black.

I thought about painting, but I'm horrible with paint.

Hornwort has to be trained to root. It takes time. You could try tying it with thread to a rock.

If you used silk it would be shiny and darker.

I painted a tank and regretted doing it. It is a pain to remove.

You need to research plants that are suited for your tank. Then posted in the for sale section. You will get more for your buck from a member.

tinkerpuppet 10-31-2012 08:28 PM

Silk? I never considered that. How do you attach it? Do you have any issues with water dripping or anything?

Totally agree with you about choosing plants BEFORE buying. I just got swept up at an auction (my local aquarium club does 2 a year, the latest being just before I set this up). I'm lucky to have an independent lfs that has great plants and usually knowledgeable staff. I really should've just gone there, their plant guy helped me choose some plants for my 10gal that I'm really happy with.

Most of the stuff in the sales forum seems to be from the US, while maybe they would ship to me in Canada, it could take weeks at the border and with the winter temps now, its not worth it. I do get a little jealous of all I see in that forum though!

Hilde 10-31-2012 08:33 PM


Originally Posted by tinkerpuppet (Post 2063210)
Silk? I never considered that. How do you attach it?

I just got swept up at an auction (my local aquarium)

I attach the silk to a board with tape and tape the board to the tank with gorilla tape. It doesn't get web behind the tank.

Perhaps they have a forum you advertise your need for plants. Also post a want add at this forum and put Canada in the title. There are some members here whom live in Canada.

Some I've found are jcgd and Home_Simpson

tinkerpuppet 11-04-2012 12:09 AM

I have removed the hornwort which I think helps already, it was very distracting. I added some river stones and rocks, not sure if I like them or not, but I had them and thought I'd try them. I have decided to remove the gravel and add some more fluorite. I really want to avoid a copycat tank of my 10gal, and do something different.

Plants I'm thinking of adding, some swords, vals, water sprite, crypts. My other tank is very 'bushy'. I'm thinking more stemy/leafy for this one. But I definitely need more, regardless!

tinkerpuppet 11-06-2012 08:08 PM

I really thought about scraping out the gravel and adding more black flourite, but that seems like a lot of work, hah! I do like a bright tank, so I will keep the gravel. I did add some new plants today though.

First, a family member had bought some fish from someone and in the bag were a few little plants that he gave to me. It looked like they might have a rhizome, so I thought maybe they were a type of needle java fern or something and stuck them on my driftwood. But at the lfs today, I saw a bunch of crypts, which looked strikingly similar. Someone here was kind enough to confirm they are in fact crypts, so I have planted them along the rock line. I quite like how little they are and that they fit in with the rocks. I think I might keep the rocks if there's something to soften them a bit.

I added a sword in with all the stems. I think the big leaves look nice with all the tiny leaves of the stems.

Then behind the driftwood I removed the sponge filter. It was big and in the way. I added some corkscrew vals and some water sprite.

I think just the few extra plants have helped a lot!

There is still a space between the red plant front left and the bacopa in the back against the side of the tank, I think maybe another sword would fill that in nicely.

Also, the red plant does seem to be melting. Meh. It would be too bad, but not the end of the world. So I think about my lighting a lot, I just can't figure out what a better bulb to upgrade to might be. So far the Hagen Life Glo seems to be a popular choice. I was at my lfs today, and they had the Aqua Glo, Power Glo and were waiting on a shipment for the Life Glo. But I just don't know if its any better then the bulb I have now.

My cycle is coming along. Ammonia is nearing zero every day, the nitrites are either 1 or 5 (I just can't tell the difference on the colour strip!), and my nitrates hover between 5-15. I'm raising ammonia to about 2-3 every day, so something is happening!

So now I'm just going to sit back, I'm pretty happy with how its looking with the new plants. I look forward to them filling in a bit and the vals growing a bit to peek over the driftwood. I'm working on my stocking list, and other wise just enjoying the new tank, which looks much nicer then my 10g in the space (although I find myself sitting in my sons room a lot watching my 10g still!).

tinkerpuppet 11-18-2012 06:52 PM

Well I just couldn't let go of the idea of switching the substrate to black sand. The light gravel was fine, I liked it, but it seemed like a copy cat of my little 10g. I wanted something different. So I tore it down and switched to Flourite Black Sand with a little aquarium black sand to build up the corners.

The rotala was melted and I gave up. I moved most of the plants into new spots and I'm much happier with the layout. Everything but the baby crypts in front of the driftwood has new leaves/growth. I do plan on lining the front of the plant line from the front left corner to behind the driftwood with some dwarf sag I'll take from my little tank.

And I will be swapping the bulb out. Right now its the Aqueon 8000k T8 that came with the hood. I didn't notice so much with the lighter gravel, but its really blue/purple with the black sand. I hit up Canadian Tire, Home Depot and Rona yesterday with no luck, so I think I'll just grab a Hagen Life Glo from my LFS next time I'm there.

I also ordered some osmocote caps from a member here, so hopefully will have them in the next couple weeks. And I ordered a Fluval C4 to replace the stock hob (which will be moved to my 10g). That should be going on the tank on Tuesday. I'll run both for awhile until its seeded.

And a family member tore down a little tank and dropped off two guppies. Not exactly what I had in mind, but it was either my tank or his cichlid tank, so they're with me now. I have my stocking list in mind, I'll see if maybe my lfs will take them off my hands when I go to start buying my fish.

Anyways, it was a lot of work (and I hate having to buy/replace stuff), but I am happier. Its visually very different then my other tank, and when I swap the bulbs I think it will be just what I had in mind. I'm looking forward to the plants growing in now!

One scaping question, will the Water Wisteria grow taller then the sword? Is the back corner a good place for it?

And any other comments/constructive criticism is greatly appreciated!

Rexthecrayfish 11-26-2012 01:47 AM

Nice tank looks alot better with the new placement and black sand I like your driftwood looks similar to the one I have in my 5g RCS tank

tinkerpuppet 11-26-2012 03:51 AM

Thanks Rexthecrayfish!

Few changes again. I moved the crypts over to the left in front of the plant line. Then I added the two rocks in front of the driftwood and put in a few dwarf sag. I really like how it looks.

I also swapped out the bulb for a Hagen Life Glo (6700k). I much prefer the colour of the light.

And today was stocking day. I love that there's life in there now. After spending awhile just sitting in front of the tank, my husband made the comment that my tanks are 'a storage container for my sanity. All my crazies go there to die'. Lol! And a pretty succinct summary. Nothing clears my head after chasing my two boys around (seriously, I need a referee whistle!) like zenning out in front of my tanks.

So now to sit back and let things fill in. All the plants have new growth except the vals. I ordered some osmocote caps, but having to travel across the border and throwing in the American Thanksgiving holiday, it will probably be at least another week before I see those.

oliver77 11-26-2012 09:36 AM

Looking good! Some moss on that DW would be cool i think.
what u got in there? i see an oto, and some neons?
seems like plenty of space for another 50 neons, maybe? :P

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