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Karackle 03-14-2008 03:23 AM

5 Gallon Planted Journal - R.I.P. Mr. Betta and little tank! (!56k)
Well, I've posted about my 5 gallon before, but those were questions when I was getting started, I figured I'd consolidate the pictures and things into one place and document my journey of my first planted tank! (Well, first tank that i started from scratch with the specific purpose of making it a planted tank, there are live plants in my 20 gallon also)

Well, this is 5 gallon AGA tank with a glass canopy and 16" 14w AGA fluorescent strip light. The substrate is natural colored small rounded gravel. Not ideal, I know, but the smallest bag of "planted tank specialty substrate" they had would have been too much for my 5 and my 20 combined, and the owner (who is very knowledgeable) said this would work, and what can i say, I was impatient to get started! :-P

Purple cabomba
Asian ambulia
Marsilea minuta
Red Crypt wendtii
Anubias nana petite
few others

1 Male Betta
2 Male guppies
3 Otos

1 small piece of driftwood

This is a low tech tank, so I dose with Flourish 1-2 times a week, Excel every day to every other day, and Fertilizer tabs under the substrate near the roots every 2 weeks or (if the nitrate levels are low).

Ok, i think that about covers the "ingredients" :)

This is the tank 2/19/08 When i first added plants:

But I decided it was too sparse and needed something else so I hunted down a small piece of driftwood and added it.

So here's the tank 2/20 on day 2 w/o a flash:

and with a flash:

Karackle 03-14-2008 03:40 AM

It still didn't look quite right to me so I asked for advice and decided to shift things around a bit, angled the driftwood toward the back to give it depth, added a few more plants to fill it in a little and I moved the Anubias higher on the driftwood (for looks and to get the rhizome higher out of the gravel).

Here's the tank on 2/21 w/o a flash:

and with a flash:

And that is how i let the tank sit for a couple of weeks, dosing with ferts and letting the plants get some roots down and settle in. I was aiming for a silent cycle when I added my Betta. When I started seeing new leaf and root growth i let the tank settle a little longer and then I added my Betta

Here's the tank on 3/6/08, it's starting to get a little grown over (couldn't believe how fast that happened!) and with the Betta (w/o flash):

and with flash (makes the betta glow ;)):

And the Betta hiding in the Purple Cabomba (he likes to rest in the leaves):

Karackle 03-31-2008 06:39 PM

Well it's been a while since I posted a photo update, so here's a quick one of the pruned and regrown tank. I think I had the camera on the wrong setting though because this one is blurry (sorry it looked good on the little tiny camera screen!) so i'll have to get a better one this evening!

And my Happy Betta:

And one of my chubby otos:

mgamer20o0 03-31-2008 06:42 PM

real jungle now it seems.....

Kayen 03-31-2008 07:06 PM

wow oto seems well fed.

Karackle 03-31-2008 07:57 PM

mgamer20o0: haha yes, it's getting a bit looks slightly more jungley in the blurry picture than it does in real life though :-P but it is time for a trim again

viettxboii: thanks, yeah, they're pretty happy chubby little guys! (i have 2)

Karackle 04-17-2008 04:57 AM

Here are some photo updates of my 5g. I did a fair bit of pruning on the Cabomba so it's looking a LITTLE sparse at the moment, i think i'm going to try to keep the cabomba a little sparser though and leave the Wisteria thick and full (if i let them both get forest like, where will anyone swim?! ) I was having trouble getting good photos of the tank tonight, so here's a few. I was able to get a few really good pictures of my Betta though, so i'm including those as well As always, questions, comments, concerns, suggestions are all welcome! Thanks for looking, I hope you enjoy!

My 5 gallon tank with no flash (using a couple different settings):

Karackle 04-17-2008 04:58 AM

And pictures of my pretty Betta boy :
With flash

Without flash

Sorry....couldn't get any good shots of the ottos tonight, i'll keep trying though

Karackle 05-19-2008 01:23 AM

Well, the bad news is that when I was away for a long weekend last weekend my roommate forgot to shut the lights off in my tank at night, and there wasn't enough nutrients to sustain the plants and there was a lot of die off of my plants, so it's time to prune and rescape and rebuild. Sigh.

BUT I was at a pet store i don't usually go to because it's a bit farther away than my awesome LFS that I like so much, but I was near it today so I went in to see what they had, and it turned out to be buy one get one free day (every sunday, all fish under $5.00) AND they had Corydoras hastatus so i picked some up for my 5 gallon! I knew they were small but I was surprised just HOW small they were, they're adorable!!! :) They are currently drip acclimating :)

I'll post some pictures of the new layout and new inhabitants once I get it all settled! :)

Justbeginningfish 05-19-2008 08:42 AM

I am pining for the Hastatus cories, Im subscribing to see how they do for you! and I want pictures ASAP!!

Karackle 05-19-2008 08:55 PM

Yeah, i was really excited when i found them! They're really what i wanted but I couldn't find them so I went with Otos, now i'm glad I didn't add more otos because it meant i had room for these little guys!!!

Sadly, I lost 1 of them already, but the girl was poking at the bag once she had them packed up so I think she thought she might've gotten a bad one...i should have asked her to switch it. One of the the others is looking a little iffy as well, but the other 2 were zooming around the tank, and went right after an algae wafer i dropped in the tank, so I'm thinking it wasn't poor acclimation, but 1 (possibly 2) little cories in not such great shape. I'm going to bring it back and get a replacement after work.

I snapped a couple photos on my way out the door this morning, i'll look at them now (taking a late lunch break) to see if any are worht posting! :)

Karackle 05-19-2008 09:25 PM

Well, there's no full tank shots (i'll try to get those tonight) but here's a few of the corydoras hastatus

Sharing and algase wafer:

Hanging out:

A couple (not so great) ones of the 2 Otos:

And a couple of my Betta (i think he needs a name...)
(please excuse the glass that desperately needs a good cleaning on the outside)

Enjoy! As always, all suggestions, comments, questions, concerns, whatever are welcome!

Thanks for looking! :)

Karackle 05-20-2008 12:45 AM

Well, while looking up their full grown size (0.8 - 1.0") I discovered that it appears the tank at the store was mis-labeled and these are actually Corydoras pygmaeus...but I'm still happy because those were the 2 types of dwarf cory I was looking for. So mislabeled or not, I'm happy with my teeny new additions to the tank! :) And it sounds like these guys stay a little smaller than the hastatus anyway, which is good because the tank is only 5g and already has a Betta and 2 otos in it.

Justbeginningfish 05-20-2008 04:13 AM

I want them!

I have visions of a school of 20 of them in my big tank, but that will have to wait for a while!

Karackle 05-20-2008 04:27 AM

ahhahaha yeah, they're really cute! I'd love to have more, but i don't have room...the few i have are good though so far, i'm happy with them! :)

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