First attempts at planted tanks.
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:32 AM   #1
jkpedrita
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First attempts at planted tanks.


So I've caught mts pretty bad. In the few short months since we got our first aquarium I've amassed five small ones (3 20h, 1 10g, and a 5g hex). The first one was supposed to be a normal fish tank with a few plants to make it homey. Why did we get those plants???
Those plants led me to planted tank and well four other tanks.

I'd love to get feedback as none of the tanks were started with a design in mind so I like bits and pieces of them but none of them when taken as a whole.



I planted this tank last night. I like the right side, not so much the left. I think it will look better after the crypts perk up and the hygro, ludwigia, and wisteria grow in, but at the moment it bothers me a bit.
Its sand capped dirt lit by two 13watt CFLs. Suggestions? Edit: Now they are 23watt cfl's, 4 inches off the surface.

Sorry for such a long post but I'd love your feedback! Thanks!

Edit: I've taken out three of the tanks that were also on this thread. I think I need to focus on one otherwise this thread will get very picture heavy.
Updated Tank 08/14:

Edit: Picture after the big melt after the move.

Edit: Picture 11/24/13

Edit: Picture 12/27/13

Edit: Picture 1/22/14

Last edited by jkpedrita; 01-22-2014 at 03:56 PM.. Reason: Woops messed up the pictures.
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:17 AM   #2
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Looking real good.
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:21 AM   #3
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the first tank...
you need to move that crypt foward its a nice tall plant but wont fill in enough to cover the whole area. i would plant something behind it after you pull it forward a lil. maybe plant some of the fanwort you have on the right behind it. other then that i think it looks good.

second tank...
yeah i think its just a waiting game here. when stuff fills in more you will have a better idea what to do.

third tank...
maybe move all the jungle val to the right side. then only plant the left side with short plants so the plants kid of form a triangle. this will leave the left side completely open... just a idea remember sometimes less is more.

forth tank...
again might just need to grow in more... shrimp love moss so id do some of that although the riccia is almost like a moss. you can make moss walls with mesh so it can be like a background...

hope this helps!
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33g long cherry shrimp, 8 pygmy corys, 5 ottos
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:08 PM   #4
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Thanks for your suggestions!
I was worried about those crypts. Any other suggestions for an easy background plant?

The idea on the third tank was to use the vals to sort of wrap it all up, they would stretch over the top and make a val tunnel kind of thing. But in execution it didn't work quite right.

I was checking out the moss wall/plastic canvas idea. I was worried they would get stuck behind the wall. Have you tried it? What has been your experience with it?

Thank you for taking time out to comment. I really appreciate it.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkpedrita View Post
Thanks for your suggestions!
I was worried about those crypts. Any other suggestions for an easy background plant?

The idea on the third tank was to use the vals to sort of wrap it all up, they would stretch over the top and make a val tunnel kind of thing. But in execution it didn't work quite right.

I was checking out the moss wall/plastic canvas idea. I was worried they would get stuck behind the wall. Have you tried it? What has been your experience with it?

Thank you for taking time out to comment. I really appreciate it.
Limnophila Aromatica
Bacopa
Rotala sp. 'Nanjenshan'
Rotala round leaf

a few i have that i really like but i use co2 on most. not sure how the aromatic, round leaf or nanjenshan would do without. bacopa would deff be a good choice for med light tank.

i like the crypts they just need something denser behind them.

yeah you can keep the val idea.. iv seen it a lot and once they fill in they do look rather good. just though id give you a diff direction if you wanted.

never done a moss wall my self but have seen a few. im sure there is a way to do it to where no one gets stuck behind it... if anything you can only do it so far down the back wall so they can get in and out from the bottom...

your very welcome!
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33g long cherry shrimp, 8 pygmy corys, 5 ottos
15g 2 GBR
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:31 PM   #6
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Thanks again! I'll check out the plants you suggested.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:47 AM   #7
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no problem i sell those plants and many more if your interested just pm me and ill link you to the list
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8g Fluval 1M CT Betta
125g 5 Blood parrots, 1 Green Severum, 8 Dension Barbs, 10 Yoyo Loaches, 1 RTS
75g Angelfish, 3 EBGR, 4 Siames Alage Eaters, 12 Harlequin Rasboars, 1 BN Pleco, 1 Swordtail
33g long cherry shrimp, 8 pygmy corys, 5 ottos
15g 2 GBR
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:07 AM   #8
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Thanks! I'll let you know when the weather gets a bit cooler.
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:04 AM   #9
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I honestly did not think the plants were growing but I guess a pictures worth a thousand words. The ludwigia repens has grown the fastest. THe limnofila sesiliflora for some reason does not like any of my tanks. It gets leggy and ugly really quick. The rotala rotundifolia is looking a bit spindly too. I might have to up the lights. Right now they are getting 13 watts about 16 inches off the substrate, I might bump it up to 19 or 23. I don't think its ferts because they are getting chelated iron, potassium and the other good stuff in Kent's marine iron solution and little excel daily. My tap water has 1mg/l of phosphorous so no need to add any there and I keep the nitrates around 10. Should I up the lights? Anything else it might be?

Last edited by jkpedrita; 07-20-2013 at 04:19 AM.. Reason: I can't remember how to spell plant names.
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Old 07-31-2013, 05:59 AM   #10
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Last week I played with lighting. I upped the lights to 23 watts sitting on the glass top and scortched a couple of plants that were close to the water surface. So I dropped the light back down to 13 watts and all of the plants that had colored up nicely quickly went back to green. So today I got risers for the lamps so the bulb is about 20 inches from the substrate. I also rigged a cardboard covered with aluminum foil "reflector" to cover the area from the top of the tank to where the brooder lights start. What a difference those four inches make. When the light was sitting on the lid there were some dark corners. Now the light hits everywhere.

Even though messing with the light hasn't been too awesome for the plants the R. Rotundafolia is looking better. Hopefully the light issues have been resolved for the time being and the plants will look better next week.
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:22 PM   #11
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Wow. That is a bad picture. Next time I'll pull out the big guns instead of using my phone.
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:59 PM   #12
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Looks great to me. Your phone beats my camera and it's a great looking tank to be taking pictures of. Very well done regardless but especially for being newer to the hobby.
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Old 08-01-2013, 03:37 AM   #13
jkpedrita
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Thanks ReluctantHippy! I have been leaning on this forum quite a bit for advice and a local friend who has been super patient in helping me out. Not quite where I want it to be but half the fun is figuring it out.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:05 AM   #14
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This weeks tank pic:

I got some green spot algae on the glass this week. Turns out the plants had munched through all the po4. I got some fleet and dosed with .5ml which should have increased my po4 by 1ppm, instead it raised it to 5ppm. I hope I don't get another type of algae !

I noticed my crypts starting to get holes in the middle of the plant but otherwise looked perfectly healthy. Today I found the culprit: The pond snail was just chewing away. I didn't think they were supposed to eat plants . I have no idea how they got in there but they need to come out. I love the rams horn and mts but these have got to go.

Some of my plants are looking pretty raggedy underneath as well. I hope its just old leaves dying off.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:11 AM   #15
jkpedrita
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Oh I almost forgot the hair grass has started to send out runners! And I need to move that wisteria to the back. I didn't know what it was because it was just a tiny stem when I planted it and plopped it in the front. Next water change its getting moved.
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