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CKJ 12-21-2008 02:07 AM

My 10 gal, 20gal to 55 gal low light tank progression! 56K 10/9/11 LOTS of new pics
This has taken me forever to get a tank journal going!

My son Matthew and I started this tank 1 year ago on christmas!

Heres what it looked like several months ago with all the fake plastic plants! My son is 7 1/2 and loves pirates of the caribbean!

And these photos still with fake plants were taken in june I think!

A very nice lady on a different forum was so very sweet and sent me some very tiny starts back in sept and she sent me:

1 Anubias nana which has several new leaves on it now

2 Java fern Wendelov which both are still pretty small and i've just left them to float cause I didn't know where to put them!

2 Oakleaf Watersprites, one was very small with only two brown leaves and I thought it wouldn't make it at all and it's doing just fine but still small and the other one was about the size of a half dollar and it is now bigger than my hand with my fingers all spread out! So fat i've just left both of those ase floaters!

4 Java ferns I think! She didn't say which kind those were but I'm pretty sure they have new leaves on them and they look much better and a bit bigger now than when they arrived!

And then I ordered some java moss off of ebay! Which I now know that that can be risky! The lady lives up around chicago so same state at least and she has great feedback and said she had no snails!!! Thank goodness!!

She also sent me some pennywort which i'm absolutely LOVING!! And it seems to get a new leaf every two days!

And some E. Tenellus(not sure of the spelling) which is not doing so hot and it's in my 10 gal with some molly fry!

And so far on my own where I live the only decent looking plants i've been able to find are some Anubias plants at petsmart by Top Fin. I have 3 of those in the 20 gal and one in my sons 5 gal. Those are doing excellent!

Also I some thing called Water wysteria by top fin at petsmart too but it liiked nothing like the pics i've seen here or at at plantgeek and it promptly rotted away within a few weeks!

The plants i've seen at petco are totally alea ridden and in awfull shape and not always labeled so I passed on those completely!

Our only one other place is called the Fish Man Pet Center and they specialize in fish! And that's where I have had the best luck getting fish from that survive! But their plants don't look very good at all either!

Do any of you buy plants that have brown leaves and algea all over them? I just can't seem to make myself buy them that way already!

I just got a new cannon power shot camera and the pics are taking forever to load on photobucket! I think what would help is making sure to resize to a smaller size in the camera first and with the old one it was much easier to do that!

I mainly tried to takes of one of my mollies cause I think she's pregnant again and I don't have any males! I got her at least 2 months and I knew she was already pregnant and promptly had babies a few days later, they are in my 10 gal fry tank!:icon_smil Now she's huge again! And she's been pretty big for like a month at least and I'd love to put her in the breeder net but I thought she was ready to pop like 3 weeks ago and still nothing! So i'm sure when she has them it'll take forever to find them and catch them!

Currently in the 20 gal we have just a hang on the back filter and the lighting that came with the tank. So i'm pretty sure it's low light! I bought it from a very good friend!

The inhabitants are 2 gold dust female mollies, 1 clown pleco, 1 otto cat, and 8 neons, and not sure how many ghost shrimp but maybe 6!

So here's the pics from a few days ago! Oh and excuse the finger prints!!! Matthew is 7 1/2 and so i've just learned to live with them! And excuse the mess on the desk as that's usually the first place everything gets dumped when you walk in the front door sadly:mad:! I usually try to get that cleaned up once a week!

Does that molly look preggers to you?

Any advice would be appreciated! I'd actually love to plant that big water sprite but don't know where to put it cause it's gotten so big and I do like it floating but it has just gotten so big and I don't want it to interfere with the other plants getting light. I guess I could pull off a baby plant or two to leave floating.

And then there's the two java fern wendelov's that I need to put somewhere. Are those real slow growers? There's still real green but still about the same size as when I got them! I mainly had just plantes stuf to get it planted so that it wouldn't all be floating all over.

And I love my pennywort and I think the lady sent me like 4 or 5 six inch stems of it and I have it planted in the back right corner and it's is up to the top now and one stem is growing all the way over to the front left corner now! I will probably trim that piece and plant it in the 10 gal as mainly theres just some java moss in that one!

Thanks in advance everyone and I look forward to all your input!



Dean 12-21-2008 04:08 AM

Looks good, I like it.

resowner92 12-21-2008 05:04 AM

i think one of these would look good with the pirate theme

CKJ 12-21-2008 05:06 PM

Neil that's such a neat idea! Would love to have a moss rope!

Maybe someday! I'd like to get some more shrimp though for now! We have really taken a liking to them!

Nobody around here really sells any other kind of shrimp than the ghost shrimp! The fish man says they can order what I want but who knows how much that'll cost. I just want some to help out with the little bit of algea that we have.

Maybe i'll get another otto cat too.

I'd like to get a new male molly also. And that would be more than enough.

Also are there any plants that would make a good carpet that would do good in low light?

Thanks everyone!

CKJ 12-22-2008 03:48 AM

Will cutting down the light period help with the little bit of algea that i've got and will the otto cat help with that? I've only got one and was thinking of getting another.

Let me know what you think!


CKJ 12-31-2008 04:22 AM

Well and update to my journal!

I'm now starting to battle BBA!! UGH!!! I just found out what this stuff was today and I already hate it!!

I went to the fish store and bought some flourish excel and will start dosing at 3 times the normal leval tomorrow and try to let my son understand that we have to reduce the lighting to 8 hours a day! He's 7 1/2 and learning just like I am!!! We just started keeping plants with our fish this last late september!

We've been having a blast with our fish and shrim and plants!

Oh and we've had some ghost shrimp for about a month and just the other day we went to the fish store and they actually had some cherry shrimp! I wish I could have afforded to get more than 4! We also picked up a male molly and a twig catfish! They said he was really good about eating algea but I don't think he likes this kind!!!

Here's pics of this nasty algea that I didn't think was the black brush algea till I looked at the photos after I took them!

And this is what it looks like when was starting as it's just now getting to my big anubias!

So I now have a thread going on the algea board and am taking advice and ideas as to what to do!! Everybody is being so very helpfull!!!!

My goal is to keep everything as simple and easy as possible!!! I don't really have the money, time, room or understanding of co2 and and don't want to have to worry about ferts and trace stuff and don't really understand all of it yet either!

Please if you have time check out my thread in the algea board and or post here as your help is needed and very very much appreciated!!!

So my questions are should I do my long over due trim and rescape during this time of this algea fight? Or should I wait?

What is the best placement for my anubias nana and my large anubias? Would it be closer to the filter stream where the current is stronger? Would that in the future help not getting the algea again?

I just replaced the carbon in my filter and rinsed out the filter pad and the filter flow was just a trickle! The flow is much much better now!!! Will the filter flow make a big difference in keeping the algea gone once it's gone?

The reason I have the plant's that I have was to keep thinks as simple as possible so I could keep my current substrate and not have to put fert tabs in and get all complicated so I so hope you all can help or even just follow on with our journal!

sewingalot 01-10-2009 06:47 AM

I would definitely do the trim and rescape now. Just remember the more you move around the substrate, the more susceptible to causing a baterica bloom. Moving the anubias could help, but I have found co2 and more plants help keep BBA at bay.

IDK if you've been told this yet, but the carbon in your filter will suck out the nutrients from your water you add including the excel. It is basically a waste of money to add carbon in a planted tank full time. It also helps to turn off the filter for ten-fifteen minutes when you spot treat excel. Get a syringe at the pharmacy and treat the worst areas directly. Also, the BBA will sometimes turn bright red when it starts to go away, so don't panic.

It is great your son is learning so much about plants! It is a fantastic hobby to get into at a young age. Keep up the good work!

CKJ 01-11-2009 05:18 AM

Thank you so much for the info as I did not know to turn off the filter while I doesd. I did go ahead and do the trim and rescape and then started dosing and the bba has not progressed one bit!

I would also love to get more plants for sure! But my small lfs's plants just always seem so awful and they don't seem to care or take any measures to keep the algea or snails away! So i've had an awful time finding plants locally!

I do use a syringe and squite the excel directly at the affected plants.

The only thing now is that my pennywort and floating oakleaf watersprite are getting holes in them.

Can anyone tell me why? I hope I don't lose them!

And my son will stand infront of the tanks for what seems like quite awhile just watching them!! He knows that his beta-Spike in his tank in his room's belly is only the size if his eye and has been very careful not to over feed!

Oh and next week we have a batch of rcs coming from a very nice seller here in the swap n shop! So excited to get them!



CKJ 01-16-2009 04:16 AM

Well here's pics of the rescape that I did when I planted the oakleaf watersprite and ti the trim of the pennywort. And I didn't like the look at all! Which granted there's only so much you can do with the pirate ship and skull!

CKJ 01-16-2009 04:21 AM

Here's a couple pics of the floating water sprite with the holes in it. I kinda think it was from dosing high doses of excel and that it was starting to melt cause that didn't start till I dosed the excel for the bba.

The bba is pretty much gone I think and i've stopped dosing to try to give the watersprite a chance to recover some.

Not sure with the plants that I have it dosing excell will make much of a difference in their growth.

CKJ 01-16-2009 04:59 AM

And i'm getting ready for some shrimp to arrive hopefully tomorrow so I did a rescape of the tank today and added a new piece of driftwood and created a place between the old and new piece of driftwood for them to hide if they need too and I put some java moss on them!

I also added another anubias and even some more java moss in hopes that they will like their new home!

None of the fish have bothered the shrimp I had but this time I will be getting about 50 instead of just a handfull like I had before.

So here's the rescape of the 20 gal I did today! Matthew likes it! And I was much happier with this rescape too. And I hope the shrimpies like it too! Far from perfect though!

Also this is our 10 gallon and when I bought the java moss the lady sent me some pennywort and that E tenellus and my lighting in the 10 gal was just 1 15watt bulb and the E tenellus(SP?) has been melting which I had told her I only had low light tanks. So I got another 15 watt bulb for it and did a rescape today for it too. I've had the other bulb for awhile (2 weeks) and the tenellus had started to do much better.

So I now have 30 watts over the 10 gal and have bought some amazon swords to try out in there.

It's a 10 gall and has a hob filter. Java moss, planted oakleaf watersprite, amazon swords, and a little bit of pennywort and the E tenellus. And the in habitatnts are some molly fry!

Here's a pic of the 10 gal!

And he wanted earlier for me to show you his betta Spike in his tank in his room!

Take care!

CKJ 01-16-2009 05:05 AM

OMG tomorrow I need to clean the outsides of our tanks bad! And keep Matthew from touching! He's only seve so that's not always easy to do!



sewingalot 01-16-2009 10:18 PM

I am glad I am not the only one who forgets to clean the glass! It is looking much better! I don't even see the BBA anymore. Good job. The scape is much nicer as well. The blue rocks are kinda growing on me.

CKJ 01-17-2009 08:03 PM

Thanks for the kind comments!!! Ya know what though I think no matter what age I am my tanks will always have to have some fun king of decor! I think if I did get a bigger tank I'd probably just get a bigger pirate ship! I love the ones that are in two pieces!

The big blue gravel came with the tank when I bought the tank from a friend a little over a year ago so I took some of it out and put it in my 10 gal and then I mixed the small blues gravel that was in the 10 gal since it was already established and mixed it with the rest of the big blue gravel.

You actually got me thinking about changing my substrate to something more neutral in color. I'll have to do some more looking around to find some and I know it would be a huge pain in the you know what to change it! Someday though i'd like to get a bigger tank though and it would be much easier then to start out with all new substrate then and just put the old in a stocking or something to cycle with.

Today I got my rcs finally!! This weather lately has been terribly cold!!! I got them from mistern2005 here on the site and they were mailed on tuesday and arrived on the following saturday(today). The heat pack was still warm and there was not a single death!! I'm so very happy with them!! And I hope they will be happy here too!

Does anybody have any reccommendations for a good and fairly inexpensive substrate what would be good with the plants I have and my tank inhabitants?



CKJ 02-05-2009 07:17 PM

I'm loading some new pics to photobucket I took last night so it might be an hour or so before I get them posted! Check back and let me know if you can see some places where I might be able to some more java moss for cover for my shrimp babies!

I just noticed a few days that I have at least 2 berried rcs!

My mollies and neons never have bothered the rcs and i'm hoping to avoid having to move them to a different tank!

With the driftwood I stood up it's like a cave and I added some more java moss to the back so the fish can't get in!

I might also add some more java moss just under the holes in the sides of the skull too as i've noticed shrimp crawling through the missing teeth.

I'll post some pics of how the tanks looked last night and some of the rcs too!

Thanks and I appreciate the help!


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