20G tall plant collection
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:26 PM   #1
JulieR
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20G tall plant collection


My 20G tall is my main project right now. It's been set up for a month, using filter media and plants that were set up for ~6 weeks prior to purchasing the 20G. So it's pretty new still. I'd really like to make it an Asian biotope, but the urge to buy interesting plants has turned it into an assorted tank. Maybe at some point I'll take out everything that's not asian and put those into other tanks

I always tell myself I'm just going to casually put things in the tank and then later arrange things more precisely later. I don't know why. Maybe it's just about leaving that buffer feeling that "ok, this isn't the final setup and I'm free to change it whenever". Ha. So right now things are fairly decently arranged from a aesthetic standpoint, but I also feel like it's kind of arbitrary. Works for now, though.


Equipment and stuff:
+100w stealth pro heater (I love these, but this one is disappointing me. Set for 78, light is green, and digital thermometer always reads around 74-75.)
+Tetra whisper ex 20 (Not the brand I would normally choose now, but it's a bit of an older filter and I had it on hand, might as well use it.)
+Versa-top lid (once you try glass, you'll never go back to plastic hoods!)
+Nutrafin co2 system (new!)
+Flourite substrate
+Two different fluorescent strips, an 18" that I used to use for herps, and a 20" that I just picked up at walmart for $11. I was just desperate for more light, and on a budget.

Fish stock:
6x harlequin rasboras
1x delta tail betta (male)

Plant list:
This is going to be partially guesses, I didn't have tags for everything.
+Rotala rotundifolia(?)
+Red tiger lotus
+Dwarf mondo grass? (I got this at petco, and after realizing how many of their plants aren't true aquatic plants, this is my best guess for the grass stuff. It really looks like DMG I had in a regular pot once)
+Wisteria
+Myriophyllum matogrossense(?)
+Amazon sword
+Aponogeton crispus
+Aponogeton distachios
+Elodea (Egeria Densa)
+java moss, wrapped up with a metal band for now.
+Ludwigia repens

+The rocks and stick were collected locally. The triangular driftwood is Malaysian.


This thread will keep track of the plant growth in the tank. It'll be my first tank with co2 so I'm very excited to see how it progresses. It's been set up for two days and it already looks like there's some new growth
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:00 PM   #2
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One week later. (Needs to be cleaned)
The cup floating in the corner has baby rasbora in it
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:41 PM   #3
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Congratulations on the baby rasbora! How you managed to rescue it from its parents and the betta is beyond me. I do believe that is mondo grass. You may want to take it out and pot it before it rots in the water.

I really like the plants you have added, it looks lovely. It might be neat to cover one of the rocks in moss, but I am a moss fiend. That is a lot of growth in one week, I am impressed. How do you like the co2 being added.
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:48 PM   #4
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I hope that there are going to be many inputs, opinions, and pictures for this thread! I'm getting a 20H this weekend and can't wait to get ideas!
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:55 PM   #5
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I collected the baby rasbora with a lot of luck! I saw the parents in the act, and after a burst of eggs, I quickly snipped the leaf they used and scooped it into the cup. Now that the eggs have hatched and they've grown a bit, it looks like I've got three nice healthy looking babies.

Disappointed about the mondo grass. Now that I think about it, nearly every plant they had at Petco for quite awhile were not true aquatics. Not very useful if you're going the trial and error route. Maybe I'll stick to buying what I recognize from now on.

I'm loving the co2! I can definitely notice a difference. Although, knowing that the co2 does nothing when the lights are off temps me to leave the lights on longer. Not surprisingly, I'm getting some algae. Anyway, not only are the plants growing taller, but they're growing side shoots and new buds lower on the stems, too. The plant in the center background that I think is red myrio, that's still not quite where I'd like it to be though. I bought it bunched, and didn't separate the stems soon enough and so the lower half of each stem is bare. Very sad looking. I'm not sure if I should just leave it alone for awhile or trim off the bare stems and replant the healthy tops or...? I was reading a different thread recently (can't remember the member who posted it) about trimming, and their plants grew amazingly. So now the seed's been planted in my head to trim things down. I just don't know when. I do have some moss, I just need to find some thread.

The rasboras appear to be getting frisky again today. Interesting, since I just added a little more Nutrafin plant gro last night. That seems to get them in the mood.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:21 PM   #6
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The rasboras were in fact getting frisky! Right after my last post, I looked at the tank real quick before heading out the door for class and I saw more eggs on an aponogeton leaf! I quickly snipped that leaf and added it to the floating cup (risking missing the bus, haha). Now that I'm back and can get a better look at it, there appear to be four eggs on the new leaf. Add those to the small fry I have now for a total of 7 baby rasboras!
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Old 10-09-2010, 02:23 AM   #7
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Oh wow. I just discovered the real ID of my red "myrio". It's definitely Rotala wallichii. Anyone else have this plant? Tips? Compared to my other plants, it seems like a difficult plant.
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:10 PM   #8
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It's not that hard to grow, but you may need a bit more light. Maybe you should get a T5HO fixture.
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:50 PM   #9
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Yay! on the new eggs. You are doing something right when fish are breeding. I am thinking from when I had rotala wallichi, after an initial adjustment period, it did great for me. I do remember it responds quite well to trimming and will branch out very nicely. You can cut away all you like on the stems. All stems seem to enjoy getting 'hair cuts.'
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:38 AM   #10
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That's good to hear that they do well after being established for awhile. Between the transfer from home to school, and then upgrading from 10G to 20G, all my plants have gone through some turbulence in the past couple months.


Here's a picture of one of the older fry In case anyone wondered what a one week(ish) old rasbora looks like! So far, two of the four new eggs are confirmed as hatched.

Oh, one problem that I've been mulling over since I set up this tank was the substrate. It's flourite and I read different things on rinsing it and not rinsing it. I was worried that I'd be washing away a lot of good nutrients if I did rinse it, so I ended up not rinsing at all and just waiting for it to settle. It took a few days to finally settle and filter, so visibility isn't a problem. But it left a dusty sediment on the leaves of the plants and simply shaking the leaves doesn't knock it off. I'm worried that all this dust is really blocking a lot of light absorption. And of course, more dust clouds kick up anytime I make a significant disturbance to the substrate. So now I'm stuck with either leaving it as is and having dusted leaves (the new growth is staying pretty free of dust), or taking all the flourite out, giving it a proper rinse out, and putting it back in/replanting all the plants.

I really don't want to do that to the plants. But I'm not sure which option is the lesser evil. I can rub off the dust with my fingers, and that works well with the aponogetons that have few/large leaves. Doing that with the ludwigia is just... no. Plus a lot of the dust floats around for a bit before settling right back on the leaves. Argh. I seemed to get lots of dust out the other day with gravel vacuuming. In the future, I will dutifully rinse.
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:17 PM   #11
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You have a great macro shot of the fry there. Have you thought about removing the plants from the tank and rinsing them in a bucket or the faucet? It may help. Also, I gravel vacuumed my flourite to help get rid of excess dust. It took a few weeks, but it worked wonders for me. Turning off the filter when moving around plants can help as well.
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:48 PM   #12
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More pictures coming tomorrow. Last week I ordered some new myrio heterophyllum (red foxtail) on ebay, from planted_aquariums_central. Has anyone ever ordered from this seller before? I suppose it's possible that they could even be a member here. Anyway, I ordered two bunches of the stuff with 5 stems per bunch, and received three bunches! I was so excited I wonder if it was because I'm a first time customer or if this seller always throws in some extra. Plants came in looking awesome; I'm definitely going to bookmark that seller!

I moved a few plants around, trimmed the elodea, as well as did some gravel vacuuming recently to help clear out the dust. I took maybe 7 or 8 gallons of pure dark chocolate milk out of it. I'm sure it helped, but it still has a way to go since it's all cloudy now after I moved stuff/planted the new stems.

I can NOT buy any more plants for this tank. There is no room. There's room for stuff to grow and fill in, but I might go nuts if I have to fiddle around with planting any more little stems. The tank is probably going to be a little hands off for awhile now, in terms of actually getting my hands wet. But growth progress pics will of course still come weekly.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:06 AM   #13
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Ahem. It is tomorrow, where are the pictures? I ordered from them a couple of times and they did the same for me and included extras both times. Very nice guy. Looks like you are getting a bit of the collectoritis we all have had in this hobby. Some, like myself are incurable. Looking forward to the updated shots.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:41 PM   #14
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Had to wait for the dust to clear up again!


FTS


Left side


Right side

I was seriously lost as to where I wanted to put the new myrio. I really didn't want it next to the bushy rotala since they would kind of blend in together. But that's what ended up happening anyway. I was going to move the elodea over to be between the two and I ran out of room! So much myrio. I'm not complaining! I still have a little more rearranging to do though, because right now the elodea is hiding behind the driftwood on the left. It's not going to get much light hiding back there. So I think I'm going to finally trim the bare stems off the bottoms of the rotala, move the elodea to where that is now, and plant the will-be shorter rotala more towards the foreground.

The ludwigia is doing great still. The rotala rotundifolia is doing really well, too. It's sprouted up all kinds of new shoots around its base.

Fish are all well. Though the newer set of eggs seems to have disappeared :/ I had the four little eggs in the cup and I saw two of them had definitely hatched, but for the past few days, all I've been able to see are the three slightly older ones. Not sure what happened there.

I had a scare this morning with the betta boy. I was up way early, before the tank lights were set to go on. I didn't turn them on because I wanted them to have enough time to rest for the night (seriously, I was up at 4:30 and wide awake!) Somewhere in that time before I turned the light on, I heard some splashing around but thought nothing of it. A few hours passed and I turned the light on (still earlier than it's set to turn on). I looked through the tank top to bottom, left to right and I could not find that fish. He's usually right out in front being an attention hog - even when he sleeps he's not too far hidden. I started scrambling around under/behind the tank thinking I was going to find a dried up body, and after about three minutes of searching I looked back up at the tank and there he was, right up in the corner. As if he'd just rolled out of bed and yawned "hey, whatchya doin' mom?" lol.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:53 PM   #15
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Looking good. Have you thought about moving the ludwigia repens x arcuata on the right side to the back and bringing the myrio or rotala to the front? It may help with the contrast if that is what you are going for. I love myrio red. It was one of my first plants and it spread like wildfire. Funny thing is it made me itch a lot after handling it. I think I was allergic or something. That is why I ended up getting rid of it.

The new layout looks nice. I can't wait to see the myrio grow in. It is seriously a great plant to grow. Easy to trim and it adds a great texture to planted tanks. Now I am wanting some more.

LOL at your betta. Aren't they characters? I absolutely adore my bettas. My dream is to one day have a sorority tank of females. I just have to make the room for it. I am glad it was a happy ending as your betta is sure a beautiful one!
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