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TetraFan 01-29-2013 12:13 AM

First Planted Tank (50gal) - New Pics (56k warning)
Hello! This is my first post, so I'm hoping I've put it in the right section. I have a 50gal tank which has been running for approximately 5 years. About 5 months ago, I moved house and decided to re-do the scaping in my tank (not exactly as fancy as most of the stuff on here, but I only had limited funds and a day to do it). I have always been amateurish about this tank, and would love to get some more of the specifics down.

Current equipment:
- Hagen Fluval 304 canister filter
- Rena air pump
- Heater (can't remember which brand, but it hasn't failed me yet)
- Lighting (stock... not sure which kind/wattage issue I will be shortly fixing!)

Current occupants:
- 10 neon tetra
- 6 glowlight tetra
- 6 serpae tetra
- 6 rummynose tetra
- 4 gold barbs
- 2 adult SAE
- 2 clown plecos
- 3 nerite zebra snails
- Plants: Hygrophila difformis and a few mysteries!

- Put in some sort of background
- Exchange adult SAEs for 1 juvenile (I don't want to separate them, but I only want one)
- Add 6 black neon tetra and 5-10 (haven't decided) amano shrimp
- MORE plants!!! - including jungle vals & java fern, and maybe something to carpet the front area

I am posting for suggestions of plants that are easy-care, do well without CO2, and are likely to be available at my LFS. Also, if anyone could suggest a fert schedule and advise me on lighting, that would be excellent!

Thanks in advance for any replies. :)

My tank:

GMYukonon24s 01-30-2013 01:17 AM

Good start!

TetraFan 01-30-2013 01:48 AM

Ordered my shrimp today! Now to cross my fingers that my LFS's supplier actually has some...

Trying to decide whether to go for dwarf sag or marsilea minuta for a carpet... this tank needs more green!

I am also toying with the idea of adding more substrate at the front and making some elevations, but it's a question of more gravel or mixing some planting substrate into the gravel. I'm also worried I might upset my rummynose tetras as I only recently got them. :l

TetraFan 01-30-2013 05:53 PM

I have finally figured out some of my scaping plans... going to try getting a carpet started at the front to the right and left (leaving the centre clear). Also I am going to completely replace that whole mess of taller plants (mostly wisteria) at the back right and use some more variety (some parrot's feather or something similar along with whatever I can get that looks good...). There will be a java fern going on the piece of driftwood on the right, and I'm getting a jungle val for the back left corner. Can't wait to get started on all of this!!

Mayfly1963 01-31-2013 01:42 AM

Hi TetraFan. I'm like to the forum and ready to admit that I have a lot to learn! I was curious to know what are you using as your substrate? Your tank looks very nice already!

TetraChelle 01-31-2013 03:48 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi Tetrafan, by the way your tank looks very nice. I'm fairly new to the planted tank world but from what I've learned so far is that Tetra's are great fish, especially for beginner aquarists. I have a 20 gallon tall tank with 10 Long Finned Black Skirt Tetra's, which are great little fish. They remind me a little of Angelfish which is my 2nd favorite type of fish. Anyway, I was curious as to what type of plants you have in your tank? Also, what kind of substrate do you have in your tank? I have pictures of my tetra tank and the plants that I have in my tank as of right now are:
1) Amazon Sword
2) Water Sprite
3) Anacharis
4) 2 Anubias Nana
5) Dwarf Hair Grass
6) Java Moss
7) Flame Moss
8) Baby Tears

Also some plants that are my favorite which I don't have in my tank right now are:
1) Any species of the Anubias plants including the ones I have in my tank
2) Jungle Val
3) Guppy Grass
4) Lemon Bacopa
5) Any of the Cambomba species
6) Star Grass
7) There's a specific Ludwigia plant at my LFS but I can't remember which one it is at the moment

Anyway, I have found that most tetra's like a heavily planted tank too. It gives them a more sense of security. I hope this helps and I really do like your tank, it does look very nice. I also like the different types of tetra's you have too. Very nice tank!!!

FrstTmr 01-31-2013 09:29 PM

Lighting suggestion
I just started my planted tank about 4 months ago and have gotten good results just using a 200 watt equivalent CFL from my local home improvement store and mounting it vertically in one of those clamp on aluminum shop light housings. It was cheap too, I have a 55 gallon tank and I bought 3 bulbs and clamp lights for around $50.

TetraFan 01-31-2013 10:04 PM

Thanks for the compliments! As for the substrate, I'm afraid I can't especially help you there, as when I bought it I was still in the blind buy-this-without-really-looking-at-it-and-throw-it-in phase. :( If I happen to see the bags at the store again, I will take note! I can tell you that everything behind the driftwood logs is a planting substrate, and everything in front is just medium-grained gravel.

As for the plants, I know I have a bunch of Hygrophila difformis (water wisteria) that grows like crazy and an amazon sword that grows pretty damn slow. As for the other 2 types, I haven't been able to identify them yet, as I didn't look at the label when I put them in (not going to be doing that again!).

@TetraChelle: I used to have black skirt tetras but I decided to switch them out for the rummynose (I have wanted rummynose since forEVER lol).

@FrstTmr: Thanks for the advice, but I don't think I am going to be able to change from a covered tank to the hanging lights. :l My choices are pretty limited to 36" fluorescent tubes.

TetraFan 02-04-2013 06:07 PM

Update: Re-did my scaping a bit last night, and got some new plants in there! Will post pics later today or tomorrow. I ended up adding some more planting substrate at the back; finally found out that I have eco-complete in there. Also switched up my lighting. Discovered I had 2 36" Aqua-glo bulbs in there; switched to a combination between Flora-glo (at the back) and Life-glo (at the front). It's a bit different to look at but hopefully I'll get used to it soon.

Fish changes: Let's see... switched out my 2 adult SAEs for a baby one (boy are they cute!!). Added in 6 black neon tetras for some colour contrast.

Got my shrimp!! I was super excited about this... at first. Then one of my gold barbs decided to see how amano tasted... Unfortunately the timing was bad. I was leaving for a 2-night ski trip that night, and had no choice but to leave. When I got back, the most I could count was 5 out of the 10 amanos that I got (mostly the bigger ones are left, but also 1 of the tiny ones). :( I am left now with a hard decision. I really want to keep amanos.... but I also really love my gold barbs. The only thing I can think of as a compromise would be to switch out my 4 adult gold barbs for 4 tiny ones and hope the shrimp and them will grow up well together.... any other ideas??

TetraFan 02-05-2013 05:15 AM

Picture Update!!
My tank after its plant makeover:
Left Side (with the new aponogeton):
Right Side (new unidentified plant in the back corner):
The Plants: (this one is new & unidentified)
Amazon Sword (replanted):
Rotala _______ (not sure which; replanted):
New Java Fern (with a new crypt behind it):
One of the shrimp survivors:

Still need a background.... lol

Opinions appreciated!!

Dx3Bash 02-05-2013 05:29 AM

Very clean. Looks nice. A solid black background will really make the plants and fish pop.

TetraFan 02-05-2013 05:36 AM


Originally Posted by Dx3Bash (Post 2447994)
Very clean. Looks nice. A solid black background will really make the plants and fish pop.

That's what I'm planning! Still can't decide what material I'm going to use, but it's going to need to wait regardless. It's midterm week for me (wheeeeee)!

TetraFan 02-05-2013 09:01 PM

Probably going to have to switch out the gold barbs. I'm thinking a small school of lemon tetra. :)

msawdey 02-05-2013 10:46 PM


Originally Posted by TetraFan (Post 2448018)
That's what I'm planning! Still can't decide what material I'm going to use, but it's going to need to wait regardless. It's midterm week for me (wheeeeee)!

just paint it

TetraFan 02-07-2013 03:34 AM

Finally some good news! Through endless hours of poking my head all around my tank, I have discovered that there are actually 6 shrimp left (thought there were only 5). I am still going to switch out the gold barbs, but this gives me hope that there might be more. :)

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