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fishscale 11-13-2007 07:00 AM

55G Journal (56K Warning) Update: 2/11/2008 - TANK HAS BEEN FILLED
Most Recent Tank Shot:

After doing a ton of research on here, I am finally ready to start a real planted tank. While my shrimp tank is nice, it's basically dwarf sag and java moss. A few random plants that have found their way into the tank here and there, but not much of a scape except for a sand foreground. My other tank, a QT tank, is overgrown with HM, and that's basically it.

I'm not sure how my plans would be categorized; in some ways, it kind of looks iwagumi. The foreground and hardscape are kind of amano inspired, but I like the way stem plants look in dutch aquariums, so there will be some of that eventually. Currently, the tank is being grown it emersed a la Tom Barr, and is finally starting to take off. Not all the equipment has been set up yet, but most of it has been purchased.

Tank Specs:
Tank: Standard 55G
Filter: Eheim 2215, possibly with a non functioning ECCO 2236 and a powerhead as a backup
Lighting: 2x55W AH Supply + 2x55W PC salvaged from free discarded hood in a DIY canopy (in progress)
Substrate: SMS Charcoal
CO2: Rex Grigg Regulator w/ solenoid. Still need a CO2 tank (this weekend)
Heater: Hydor 200W (In-line)
I might add a powerhead in there to increase circulation.

Dwarf Hairgrass
Blyxa Aubertii
Blyxa Japonica
Rotala sp. Green
Sunset Hygro
Ludwigia Repens x Arcuata
Heteranthera zosterifolia (still looking for this one, need someone who will ship with heatpacks)

15 Cardinal Tetras
9 Diamond Tetras (4 adults, 2 juvies ~1", 3 juvies ~1/2")
2 Male Apistogramma Cacatuoides 'Double Red' (checking on this one, the admins at say it's ok)
1 Peruvian Altum Angelfish (still thinking about this one)

I may forgo the angelfish and add rummy nose or increase the cardinal numbers.

Here is the emersed grown HC thus far:

Some emersed hairgrass showing new shoots:

My blyxa aubertii is flowering:

As you can see, I have a bit of a duckweed problem in my QT tank. Believe it or not, I cleared all of it off a week and a half ago, and that's the state it's in now. I'll try again after midterms.

Overhead shot of left side of tank:

The hardscape doesn't make much sense at this angle, I will get a frontal shot when I clean the glass and do some more maintenance. Too much work these last 3 weeks. Damn Michigan engineering.

The HC in these pics have already died down, adjusted, and started spreading, so I am hoping that in a couple of weeks, I will have a decent enough carpet to fill the tank.

danepatrick 11-13-2007 06:17 PM

did you plan on growing the blyxa aubertii emersed as well? I don't know how it reacts but everytime I transfer some b. japonica into my own tank from someone elses, it goes through a transition phase where it melts down and then bounces back. I too am trying Barr's method of "emersion" and will hopefully see results! =-)

fishscale 11-13-2007 06:31 PM

The blyxa is in my QT tank right now, I read it doesn't grow emersed. Looking good, except for the mass amount of snails chewing on it. There's always a ton of snails in this tank because my diamond tetras bred, so I have to feed the fry pretty often. Unfortunately, it appears I've got a bit of green spot algae growing on my substrate in the dry tank. Any suggestions for this? Not a huge deal yet, just don't want it to spread.

fishscale 11-13-2007 06:31 PM

Maybe it's green dust? It's looks like someone put green powder on certain places in the substrate.

mpodolan 11-14-2007 12:00 AM

Glad to see you finally got some pics up! Can't wait to see this thing fill out

dekstr 11-19-2007 06:05 AM

Subscribed. That's a lot of duckweed for 1 1/2 weeks.
Looking forward to the updates.

octopus44 11-19-2007 01:00 PM

Cant wait to see how this turns out! How much longer are you going to let the HC and hairgrass grow before you add water?

mistergreen 11-19-2007 03:12 PM

if you can, get sunlight in there too.. You'll see a crazy growth spurt.

fishscale 11-20-2007 06:49 PM

I wish I could get sunlight. I, unfortunately, live in a basement apartment. Combined with Ann Arbor's 355 days of cloudiness (I'm exaggerating, but barely), this makes for a pretty dank place to live. Since learning about planted tanks, I have changed out some of the lightbulbs in the place for ones with better color temps, so it doesn't look so crappy. I'm trying to get a place next year that is on the 2nd floor, we'll see how that works. As for the tank, I'd like to see if I can get some more rooted HC before I fill it. It's taken me a lot of patience already, and I want to get a denser carpet. If I were to do it over again, I think I would have put a layer of aquasoil over the SMS. There really seems to be quite a big difference. Also, I would have set up the substrate dividers and scaping correctly the first time, as well as starting the HC at the lower levels instead of the hill. (The hill makes it difficult to keep the substrate moist)

fishscale 11-27-2007 08:14 AM

UPDATE: 11/26

Last time:


Lots of good growth, key is patience and not touching the tank (which I had problems with earlier ;))

Hopefully, I'll be able to have this tank filled by the end of the month.

JohnInFlorida 11-27-2007 03:21 PM

Hmmm, basement apartment = no sunlight ... 2nd floor apartment = never having a 180/220/240gallon tank ... hmmm, decisions, decisions.

I know how I'd vote :fish: :bounce: ;)

Keep Smilin'
John :)

fishscale 11-27-2007 06:45 PM

Hahahahah, not a concern for me yet. Apartment will only be for a year, and I can't afford the big tanks...yet :D

fishscale 12-15-2007 06:28 AM

New pics:

Riley 12-15-2007 06:51 AM

Looking good....really starting to fill in.

fishscale 12-15-2007 01:54 PM

You can tell where I planted first though...Didn't have enough HC for the rest of the tank, so it's a a different color right now :)

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