Dad's tank (7.7 gal)
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:41 PM   #1
Prodigga
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Dad's tank (7.7 gal)


Hey guys, this is my first planted tank ever. But first, some history.

Before this, I was growing and breeding Guppies and Angle fish. I stopped that years ago, and the only thing that remains from my fish keeping 'past' is a fish tank in the living room. It is for show, had a few neons in it, and an otto. No plants. I stopped taking care of it as my father liked feeding the fish and so it became my dads tank. I wasn't too concerned - I had studies etc to attend to.

Recently my parents have gone to Turkey for a holiday. I got my first look at the tank in a while. It was in a very sorry state, thanks to my old mans neglect towards water changes : The Otto's and neons were dead and rotting, was a mess!

So I took it upon myself to fix it all up. Sort of a 'welcome back' gift. But with my studies easing up, I got inspiration from websites like this to do a planted tank.

What I have to use: A Jebo R338 (35 L/7.7 gal). Now don't ask why. Oh please don't ask why : but when i cleaned the tank out I kept the water and filter material. Bad move, obviously. I don't know why I kept it at all. Something at the back of my mind told me it was a bad idea to rip everything out - true, ofcourse, if it wasn't for the fact that everything had died and started to rot in the water.

Anyway, first step was to buy some substrate


I use fluorite substrate, and here in australia we have water restrictions, so i couldn't wash it out completely. For a while, everything looked like crap. It fixed itself up soon after.

I let the substrate settle and soak for the weekend - besides, I had work to attend to.

During this time, I tested the water every night and recorded it. I did 2 big water changes along the way, and the water currently sits at a PH of 6.5, Ammonia: 0.25ppm, nitrite: 0ppm, nitrate: 5ppm. It's sitting at a pretty good level right now. My first test results (after initally adding the substrate) were scary. Ammonia 1ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 160ppm. No wonder the fish died. (And I am still wondering why I didn't just dump the water!). After seeing these results though, I figured 0 Nitrite indicated that there was no bacteria activity. I dumped the filter material and put in new and clean filter material!

Anyway. Along came today. It was time to add some plants. With all of the aquarium plant knowledge I had gained from google, I knew I had to plant heavily from the get-go if I wanted my plants to out-compete algea etc.

I opted for a very basic setup. Some Hornworth, Java ferns, and hairgrass. (Also, one other stem plant I don't know the name of) - oh, and I bought myself a piece of lava rock, because that shiz look crazy



I definitely like that leafy look a lot more than the needle look from the Hornworth. I am considering getting rid of ALL the hornworth because I REALLY dont like it! Any leafed stem plants that go well with Java ferns in the midground, hair-grass in the foreground?

Anyway. I am looking to get only a couple of fish for this tank. It is mainly a planted tank, and I do not want to emphasis on the fish so much. I am thinking something small, maybe tetras or some other fish that 'pops out' but isn't big and doesn't need huge numbers!
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:42 PM   #2
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I LOVE this tank
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:55 PM   #3
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Instead of the Hornwort you could try Bacopa or Ludwigia, they're both forgiving to grow and are easy on the eyes. I'm with you (not at all a fan of hornwort or lookalikes) and for the background layer of my nano I'm using a mixture of Ludwigia, Bacopa, Creeping Jenny & Limnophila Aromatica

EDIT: When I finished typing that out I looked at your pictures again, and was struck with a thought - if you remove all the hornwort and replace the background layer with something leafier like Ludwigia, you could root a larger broad-leafed plant (ie, Anubias Barteri, some type of sword, etc) either behind or on top of the lava rock and create a sloping effect that leads from the top right-side corner (effectively hiding that heater) down to the lower left-side. Theoretically you'd end up with a jungly look in the back, an off-center broad-leaf plant to draw the eye and a nice narrow-leaf foreground (for whatever this is worth I like your foreground as-is). I hope that description makes sense, it does in my head

SECOND EDIT: ......Is that a heater on the right side? I said heater, and now I'm not sure.... could be an intake I guess.... my resolution at work is awful and it's the end of the day and I'm going crazy. Don't mind me.

THIRD EDIT: ......Yeah that's a heater. I'm just nuts.
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Last edited by TheBigSleep; 10-11-2012 at 08:03 PM.. Reason: more, MORE, MOOOOOORE
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:31 AM   #4
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Thanks for then feedback everyone!

@TBS
yes haha that is indeed a heater. And noted: you are a crazy person. I'll tread carefully when posting in any thread that you've got a post in haha.

I like both Bacopa and Ludwigia - I think its a choice between red or green. I'm leaning towards green. That way, all my plants are green and the green is offset by the red lava rock and (possibly) some vivid red fish! Could look cool!
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodigga View Post
Thanks for then feedback everyone!

@TBS
yes haha that is indeed a heater. And noted: you are a crazy person. I'll tread carefully when posting in any thread that you've got a post in haha.

I like both Bacopa and Ludwigia - I think its a choice between red or green. I'm leaning towards green. That way, all my plants are green and the green is offset by the red lava rock and (possibly) some vivid red fish! Could look cool!
Sounds like a good plan! To play devil's advocate, you'd be amazed at how good-looking a mixture of plants can be - As a matter of personal preference I've found that mixing background plants (as opposed to planting in species-specific clumps) can lend to adding depth & size to a smaller tank, and that mixing colors can look insanely good with the right amount of tweaking & playing. That's not to say a more orderly, garden style (AKA Dutch style) tank can't be equally gorgeous - I've seen some that blow my tank's looks to smithereens. To each his own, and of course you can always alter the arrangement afterwards! (Alliteration!)

Random side note: I may be crazy & weird but I'm still a nice guy & am fun at parties
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:48 AM   #6
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Heyo! So I am 90% sure the tank is cycled. I reused some of the filter media from the last set up and that must have done the trick.

I have been doing water tests every day, and my Ammonia is doing all sorts of things crazy. I think my testing kit is to blame. (its very old, has been sitting in a shed for 3 or so years).

I wanted to start adding fish, but to be sure it was cycled I did a bit of a test: I dropped in a few flakes of food on to the filter media. I expected to see some Ammonia and maybe even a bit of Nitrite the next day but the test revealed a spike in Nitrate. This led me to believe the tank has cycled fine.

I've also stabilized the pH. it was very low (< 6.0). Luckily in Melbourne our tab water sits around a comfortable 6.8 - 7.2. It took me a while to realized that I had to keep the water running to get water with proper pH. The first bucket load of water that comes out of our tap has a pH of less than 6.0. (seriously. One entire bucket). It took me a few water changes to realize this.

Here is my testing so far. Since I used media from the last aquarium (And also a LOT of water out of the last aquarium) my results are very funky, but everything seems to have calmed down now. The X axis is the 'day'.



Day 1 - 3 was spent with doing some water changes, reflected by the ammonia/nitrate levels. Day 6 is where I did my fake 'feeding' to see if I could figure out whether or not the biological filter was active. Nitrates jumped to 20 the next day confirming my suspicions that the tank was cycled. As you can see, my Ammonia never hits 0. Bit I seriously think my test is at fault.

So moving on, I decided to get myself some fish. I picked up a small school (6) of Lambchop Rasbora's. (or Hengel's Rasbora) They've got a nice red color to them, and they must really like the tank because their colors are showing really nicely! I am considering getting 2 more. Here they are:





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Old 10-16-2012, 04:08 PM   #7
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Nice Job!
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:32 PM   #8
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Ok, ripped out those Hornworths and replaces them with Hydro's. I love it!

I am happy with how it is holding out with the livestock. My ammonia/nitrites are at 0, and pH fairly stable. I am looking at replacing the Rasbora's with maybe a couple of colorful killifish (ie; Blue Lyretail's) or "Pseudomugil gertrudae", thought I can't find much information on these guys... help?

got to trim the hairgrass today too. they are sending runners everywhere, but not quiet set in place yet it seems, (they dislodge easily). Good progress!

anyway, here is an image:
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:20 PM   #9
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This tank makes me happy.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:06 AM   #10
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Hehe thanks kiera! My dad returns from Turkey tomorrow so I am going to the petshop to get a killifish or two. Final touches so to speak. Well, I'd add more stuff if I could afford it! As a uni student living on his own for a month, this is the best I could do! I want to add more Crystal red shrimps and killifish in the future. Pics coming soon.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:22 PM   #11
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Your dad's going to love it
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:49 PM   #12
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Default Is that a 200W heater in your 9.24G tank?

I have a 30G tank & I don't have a 200W heater.

Just be careful your heater doesn't COOK the inhabitants in the tank.

BTW, you're going to have a green jungle in your tank in a couple weeks.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:47 PM   #13
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He loved it! I added in 2 killi's, and another shrimp. Loving the shrimps! Sorry that I forgot photos. They will be up asap.

@MSG

In the past we have been running ‹30 G tanks for a good year (multiple small tanks), never had issues! The water would get pretty cold otherwise wouldn't it?
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:59 PM   #14
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That's great to hear
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