bmwguy525's Planted 20 Gallon - Neon tetras, otocinclus
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > Tank Journals


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-20-2011, 08:32 PM   #1
bmwguy525
Algae Grower
 
bmwguy525's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ventura, CA
Posts: 21
Default

bmwguy525's Planted 20 Gallon - Neon tetras, otocinclus


I'm a beginner aquarium owner a flat out plant know-nothing. I knew right off the bat that I wanted a full live plant tank and that I was going to do a fishless cycle, but I didn't know I'd be putting this much time and effort into the plants alone

I only have a phone camera right now, so excuse the bad quality pictures.

I'm currently ending week 4. Here's a progression of my tank:

Week 1

Week 1, just starting to read about plants and plant caretaking, but I was too impatient to wait until I had fully learned. Went out and bought a few plants, rocks, and sand. I'd come to learn that sand is a horrible substrate for plants, but I wanted the black rock/white sand look, and I had no idea what it meant for planting.

Week 1 plant stock:
Java Fern - lace
Weeping Moss
Anacharis
Anubias




Week 2

Week 2 brought about a lot of reading and learning. I knew my tank had a long way to go before I liked it, and I wasn't even close to the aquascape I wanted in the end result. I went back to the LFS to pick up some more lava rock, and a few more plants. This time I grabbed some shorter stuff to hopefully have spread as a grass-like floor.

My moss was quite brown and the Java Fern lace was really hurting, but after the first 7 days I added a CO2 diffuser and a some food plant tablets to bury in the sand substrate.

Week 2 plant stock:
Java Fern - lace
Weeping Moss
Anacharis
Anubias
Crypt Parva
Compacta Sword
Short grass (?)
??? (Large plant in left corner, might be large Anubias?)




Week 3

After worrying that my current plants were dying and FAST, they started to recover with the help of the CO2 and fertilizer tablets. Both water changes at 7 and 14 days were 50% changes. The Weeping Moss started recovering to a mild green, and I uprooted the Java Fern to get the roots some light. Midweek I also added an air pump and airstone to help oxygenate the water. The plants look just fine now, with the exception of some brown spotting on 3 or 4 leaves altogether.

On to finalizing the scape.

I finally realized that I needed to finish building the outside corners, with a open swimming ground in the middle to showcase the fish. I was going to showcase a school of Tiger Barbs, but I really don't want to deal with an aggressive school since I want to add a a German Blue Ram and some catfish. Now thinking of how awesome a school of Neon Tetras would look, I wanted to leave a great viewing space for this beautiful fish.

I topped off my hardscape with a couple more lava rocks that I was able to form into a nice large piece in the left rear corner, which includes some caves and thoroughways for any shy fish. The right corner now built up with additional rock and a small angled driftwood in the front right.

After learning that the roots of the Anubias and the Java fern needed to be out in the open, I angled and lightly tangled the roots to more open areas, and hopefully these will take root onto the lace rock. By week 3 the Anacharis are obviously growing, and I've trimmed 2 new 4" stems to replant. I added some new plants that the Sunday crew at the LFS didn't even know of, so I have no names of them, and then another bunch of Anacharis to start hiding the filter rod and heater.

Week 3 plant stock:
Java Fern - lace
Weeping Moss
Anacharis
Anubias
Crypt Parva
Compacta Sword
Short grass (?)
??? (Large plant in rear right corner, might be Anubias?)
??? (Bushy plant bottom right corner)
??? (Skinny stem, bottom left corner)




I'm really happy with the way the tank looks now, and I'm just hoping the plants are still healthy and green a few weeks from now. I used thread to anchor the moss down to the driftwood and lace rock, but the thread is now snapped and the moss is on the wood and rock BARELY on its own.

Week 4

After 3 weeks of the tank sitting and not being able to find ammonia anywhere locally, I decided to throw in a half dozen neon tetras and two otos to start stalking, cycling, and to help the plants out.

I also got in a new LED lighting setup, and man does it make this tank look like a new tank after replacing the single t8 I was using. I also set up some timers to run the air stone in two shifts of 4 hours during the day, and the lights are on for 10 hours a day.

The fish are all healthy and active, and the otos are doing a great job with the diatoms in the tank. After 4 days they have about 80% of the diatoms off the plants, and are now working on the lava rock and driftwood.

I have yet to do any pruning, as until last weekend I was just adding more and more plants every week. Later today I'll do my first full plant maintenance. Now I have my tank finalized and am going to mow the moss, grass, and anacharis today, and prune off the weaker leaves around the tank to promote some new growth.



You can see the bigger oto in the background on the filter stem here



When I woke up this morning this 1 anacharis stem was uprooted and floating here, but here's a general front tank shot prior to my first pruning.



Final plant stock:
Java Fern - lace
Weeping Moss
Anacharis
Anubias
Crypt Parva
Compacta Sword
Short grass (?)
??? (Large plant in rear left corner, might be large Anubias?)
??? (Busy plant bottom right corner)
??? (Skinny stem, bottom left corner)

Current fish stock:
6 x Neon tetra
2 x Oto

Last edited by bmwguy525; 12-14-2011 at 10:59 PM..
bmwguy525 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-20-2011, 09:44 PM   #2
Geniusdudekiran
Prodigious Plant Pundit
 
Geniusdudekiran's Avatar
 
PTrader: (44/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 5,371
Default

Nice! So, bmwguy, what kind of bimmer do you own?
__________________
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." -- Steve Jobs
Geniusdudekiran is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2011, 09:53 PM   #3
ghotifish
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 289
Default

I like the look you're developing. I can't tell how you've trimmed your anachris in the back, but you might read up on how to prune them to get bushier. I had never had an aquarium before jumping into this hobby either, you're doing better than I did at the start.
ghotifish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2011, 05:49 PM   #4
bmwguy525
Algae Grower
 
bmwguy525's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ventura, CA
Posts: 21
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geniusdudekiran View Post
Nice! So, bmwguy, what kind of bimmer do you own?
I don't currently own one, but my first car was an old beat up 525i so the online name just stuck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghotifish View Post
I like the look you're developing. I can't tell how you've trimmed your anachris in the back, but you might read up on how to prune them to get bushier. I had never had an aquarium before jumping into this hobby either, you're doing better than I did at the start.
Thanks. It seems like the couple of smaller anacharis tops that I trimmed off and replanted are coming in really bushy, while all the original stems are thin and have small leaves.

I looked up trimming anacharis, propogating anacharis, pruning anacharis...but I couldn't find anything that specifically stated what I should do besides trimming the tops and replanting. Is there a method to get these leaves to get bushier and broader?
bmwguy525 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2011, 11:05 PM   #5
bmwguy525
Algae Grower
 
bmwguy525's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ventura, CA
Posts: 21
Default

I just couldn't stand the anacharis anymore and decided to get rid of it. I rearranged a few plants, and I still don't know what the bushy plant is in the bottom corners and now in the middle. I arranged the dwarf anubias more into the lava rock, and removed the hairgrass completely. This really cleaned up the sand a lot, and hopefully will create less of a mess come cleaning/water changing.



I'm also probably going to place a couple of large anubias plants in the rear middle. I don't really want to cloud up the horizon line too much, but I also need to hide that old, crusty looking heater and the CO2 ladder.

I'm planning on replacing the heater soon, as well as getting rid of the air stone and replacing it with a more modern circulation. I also want to get rid of the cheapo CO2 ladder and replace it with a more high tech CO2 addition, but I just don't have the money for that right now. Right now I'm running a DIY CO2 mix with only about 1 bubble every 10 seconds. I'm not even sure if this is doing anything, but I only run the air bubbler at night in 4 hour shifts, so hopefully the little CO2 that is coming out is doing some good.
bmwguy525 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 06:29 PM   #6
bmwguy525
Algae Grower
 
bmwguy525's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ventura, CA
Posts: 21
Default

Still working on changing things. I'm not completely happy yet, but I'm starting to like the tank more and more with every change.

I added a val and what I think are some giant hygro. For the past couple weeks my sand has been very dirty on top, with what looks to be a brown, furry algae that floats around and eventually lands at the lowest points in the tank. These aren't diatoms, as I've been diatom free for about a week now, but I still don't know exactly what it is. It keeps showing up more and more every couple days, even when I vacuum the sand clean.

Any comments are appreciated, as I'm still just a noob and looking for new direction every day!

bmwguy525 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 05:33 PM   #7
bmwguy525
Algae Grower
 
bmwguy525's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ventura, CA
Posts: 21
Default

A little progression pic through the opening 5 weeks

bmwguy525 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 05:48 PM   #8
bmwguy525
Algae Grower
 
bmwguy525's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ventura, CA
Posts: 21
Default

The big bully shrimp making the otos wait their turn for the algae wafer

bmwguy525 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 08:19 PM   #9
99RedSi
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Illinois
Posts: 293
Default

Very cool, bmwguy! I like the progression - your tank looks better and better with each update you post!
__________________
20G High planted "cliff" aquarium
Dwarf Gourami, Cardinal Tetras, Julii Corydoras
Coralife T5NO (2x28w), DIY Yeast CO2
99RedSi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 08:50 PM   #10
frenchymasters
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ohio
Posts: 107
Default

the plants in the corners im going to guess are hygrophilia coryombosa 'kompact', just saw some at my store and i wrote it down to look it up....looks like yours. they said they stay small. i rather like the plant. and nice tank btw!
frenchymasters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2011, 11:16 PM   #11
bmwguy525
Algae Grower
 
bmwguy525's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ventura, CA
Posts: 21
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 99RedSi View Post
Very cool, bmwguy! I like the progression - your tank looks better and better with each update you post!
Thanks Red

Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchymasters View Post
the plants in the corners im going to guess are hygrophilia coryombosa 'kompact', just saw some at my store and i wrote it down to look it up....looks like yours. they said they stay small. i rather like the plant. and nice tank btw!
Thanks for the guess Frenchy. I know I definitely have giant hygro in the middle background now, and the corner plants definitely look like the compact hygro based on what you've linked. Thanks! Some are dark green and some are light green, and they seemingly come in randomly. They are also very bushy and far more compact than the giant hygro, and together with the giant hygro I love the look!

I'm still continuing to clean up the sand and moving small things here and there. I realized I created a lot of terrain alteration that makes cleaning hard to do when things settle into little pockets and divots underneath the rock formation, caves, and driftwood. I also got introduced to my latest addition to the tank: hitchhiking snails! These either came in with the val or the giant hygro, but they're in the tank now. I've already removed a handful, and I'm sure there's more in there just growing and beginning their ultimate confiscation of the tank. Assassin snails may be in my future...

Here's a week 6 update:




This week is the first week I am running without CO2. I finally got sick of the ugly diffuser ladder, and to be honest I tried multiple DIY mixes and couldn't get more than 1 bubble every 10 seconds. I think it might be the yeast I was using, but the local grocery stores had limited selections.

I am still dosing with liquid Plant Grow weekly. Fert tabs are going intot he substrate monthly, and have been added as needed when adding new plants. The plants are still very green, although seem to be growing very slowly as of the past couple weeks.

Here's a shot of the compact hygro



Very green, and slowly growing. Haven't trimmed more than a couple of leaves off off all 4 of these plants now.


Crypt parva


Slowly growing. I haven't trimmed this at all yet, as there is nothing to trim. As can be seen around the sand, a lot of gunk and debris piles up here. It's really difficult to keep clean, and I can't tell what is debris and what might be algae growing around the roots. This has been a difficult plant for me so far.


Weeping moss



This has been the hardest thing for me to figure out. There is a ton of algae in here that the shrimp and otos haven't got to yet. It's keeping the moss from being fully green and lush. It's definitely growing the most out of anything in the tank, but it's such a mild green and isn't very fun to look at. I've been thinking of scrapping it, but I really want this moss to stay on the driftwood.

I still want to add CO2 back in the tank, but I'm done spending money for now, and am still trying to research the best way for me to go about doing it.

The next step is adding in more neons and filling in the school of otos. That will be all the fauna I'm adding to this tank.

Thanks for looking. As always comments are appreciated!
bmwguy525 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2011, 11:26 PM   #12
allaboutfish
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
allaboutfish's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: memphis, tn
Posts: 863
Default

here's the DIY Co2 mixture i use
http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums...t=#post2722976
allaboutfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2011, 08:13 PM   #13
bmwguy525
Algae Grower
 
bmwguy525's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ventura, CA
Posts: 21
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by allaboutfish View Post
I've read quite a few DIY CO2 mixtures but that one is definitely the most unique I've seen yet. I will give it a shot. Can I use a regular air stone for this DIY CO2?

On another note, the last remaining Amano shrimp of the three I put in has escaped through a small gap in the hood cutout for the filter. Found him dried out on the floor this morning
bmwguy525 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2011, 03:55 PM   #14
tonytrout2001@hotmail.com
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
tonytrout2001@hotmail.com's Avatar
 
PTrader: (14/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cosby, Tn.
Posts: 804
Send a message via MSN to tonytrout2001@hotmail.com Send a message via Yahoo to tonytrout2001@hotmail.com
Default

I don't like that you replaced the anacharis, it atleast brought some depth to your tank and made it look much bigger, IMO. All my attention is turned to that big mass of plants in the middle of the tank now as well, which is a big no-no in the aquascaping world. The Vals look really out of place to me, in this tank. Where all the other plants have curves, this is just straight and totally opposite from everything else in there. My favorite look was in week four from the original post. That scape was amazing, IMO. It also followed all the rules of the aquascaping "code" and would have filled in to be amazing.

I am happy that you uprooted the fern and stuff. I missed that the first time I replied, but caught it while reading through the journal and then seen that someone already told you. Good job, it looks really good. I am wanting to get some to put on my tunnel in my tank.

All your plants look great, good job on all the research. I love this site for all the help available on here I just think you are going to find this tank STUFFED full of plants in about 2 more months or so.
__________________
The Fraternity of Dirt #15
Just because its dirt doesn't make it low tech.
Updated 9-7 Check me out. 10g Rimless. My 105g Journal. 105g YTubeAction ETnAC President.
tonytrout2001@hotmail.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2011, 11:12 AM   #15
keilatan
Planted Member
 
keilatan's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 164
Default

This is beautiful! I love how the white sand contrasts with the black lava rocks.
__________________
~Natalie | BlogFacebookYouTube


keilatan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 08:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012