25gal Medium Tech Setup- First Planted Tank
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:02 PM   #1
SunDevil76
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25gal Medium Tech Setup- First Planted Tank


Hey everyone, SunDevil76 here. I recently got back into the hobby about 6 months ago when I purchased a betta fish. While researching ideas for his tank, I stumbled upon sites such as this one. I saw just how beautiful some of these plants and fish could be so naturally I was hooked. My girlfriend noted my growing interest in the hobby so she bought me the Aqueon 25gallon Premium Aquarium Kit. It includes:

-25 Gallon Tall Aquarium Tank 24w x 13d x 19h
-Aqueon Quiet Flow 30 Power Filter
-100w Submersible Water Heater
-Aqueon 24" T5NO Dual Lamp Fixture (2x 14w Bulbs- 1 Colormax and 1 67k)
-Other small items (Fish and Plant food, water conditioner, strip thermometer)


I replaced the Colormax bulb with another 67k Daylight to improve plant growth
Here's the empty tank just before I set it up:

8/2/2013



Shortly after the previous photo was taken, here is me laying down the Miracle Grow Organic Potting Mix:

8/2/2013



Note the mesh barriers I added in the soil. These are to separate the two different caps I added: Eco Complete and Inert Black Aquarium Sand. The latter of the two goes between the two dividers to create a black sand "river".

Following this, I added the substrate caps accordingly, and then proceeded to plant the following plants I had ordered:

-Several Jungle Val stems
-Java fern (common attached to a rock, windelov attached to driftwood.)
-Amazon Sword (Runner, he's still a lil guy...for now)
-Taiwan Moss (Attached to the same kind of plastic mesh I used as dividers and rocks)


After planting, I proceeded to fill the tank using Prime to dechlorinate, and the "garbage bag" method to fill it as to not disturb the substrate. I somehow managed to mess this up and it kicked up a lot of dirt and made my water column so dark I couldn't see two inches into the tank.

Over the course of the next 72 hours, I did several major water changes and the water looks much better. Here's how it looks as of today:

8/5/2013


I know there is a lot of work to do. Here are my plans for the near future:

-Arrange the hardscape (angle the malaysian driftwood and change the smaller rock arrangements. Also gonna try to find rocks that have a more consistent color with one another.)
-Continue doing a fishless cycle (I am on day 2 now)
-Add a black backdrop
-Clean/separate the substrate better.

Once the fishless cycle is complete, I am planning on adding the following fauna:

-1x Dwarf Honey Gourami
-15x Neon Tetra
-5x Corydoras Catfish (Not sure which species, probably Panda)
-Invertebrates: Red Cherry Shrimp, Amano Shrimp, Malaysian Trumpet Snails, Assasin Snails


I am always open to suggestions and criticism (constructive is preferable ). I am looking forward to making an awesome looking tank and growing in the hobby! Please stay posted and I will keep showing pictures of my progress. Peace!

Last edited by SunDevil76; 10-23-2013 at 06:12 AM.. Reason: changed name
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:40 PM   #2
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8/5/2013


Here's a closeup from the side so the arrangement is more visible. The Amazon sword is placed behind the driftwood. You can also see the yellowing of the moss and jungle val. I heard this is normal because it is acclimating. Anything I should know to facilitate this process better?
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:39 PM   #3
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August 23 2013

Update:
-Jungle Vals have grown back, sending out runners.
-Amazon sword has gotten slightly bigger.
-Added black background
-Taiwan moss coming back nicely
-Added Echinodoras Tenellus "Pygmy Chain Sword" to the foreground.


Also if you check out the top of the tank in the first picture you'll see that I have added Finnex Ray 2 24" LED light to the tank, however I never use it. I'm waiting to get a proper CO2 system so I will be transitioning this tank out of the Low-Tech category eventually. If I get impatient I might start using Excel, although I don't want to melt back my Jungle Val.
Goals:
-Add CO2 System
-Get more plants (Definitely more Pygmy Chain Sword to get a decent carpet, also thinking possibly about Water Wisteria or maybe some rotala rotundifolia)
-Add livestock
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:36 AM   #4
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Looks good. It will look even better once all the plants fill in especially the E. tenellus. Do you have any plans for the livestock.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishboy199413 View Post
Looks good. It will look even better once all the plants fill in especially the E. tenellus. Do you have any plans for the livestock.
Cool thanks! I'm looking to get probably 15x Neon or Cardinal Tetras, 6x Corydoras (Not sure which species), 1x Dwarf Gourami or the Betta I have now, Invertebrates like snails and Red Cherry Shrimp.
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:42 PM   #6
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Nice start! Keep us update!
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:01 PM   #7
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Great job on the tank and journal!
Looks like the tank is off to a flawless start.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:05 PM   #8
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Thanks for the positive feedback guys. I'll check back in around another month probably just as another update. There's still a lot to be done but mostly just waiting and being patient! Hopefully i'll have some livestock by my next update.
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:54 AM   #9
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Very nice. Looking forward to seeing it progress too.
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:29 AM   #10
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September 2, 2013



Update:
-Planted Rotala Rotundifolia
-Planted Dwarf Hair Grass
-Added following livestock:
12x Glowlight Tetras
1x Amano Shrimp
1x Assasin Snail


So I was gonna wait a month since my last update, but I figured since so many developments happened over the past couple weeks I would do an update. Finally have livestock, will be adding more in the future. You can't really see the Tetras because I added half today and it's their bed time so they're hiding behind the DHG. Speaking of, I decided to scrap the Pygmy Chain Sword carpet and decided to go with Dwarf Hair Grass. The Pygmy Chain Sword is relocated to the right of the sandy area. The DHG is crazy long right now but once it has settled in I will trim it to the desired height. I have some Excel i'm planning on slowly adding (due to the Jungle Vals) until I get my DIY CO2 rig set up. The next update will hopefully show a comparison to how the Excel affects growth.

Goals:
-Finish DIY CO2
-Add more livestock
-Organize Aquascape more, move some plants around (Mostly the Rotala)
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:49 PM   #11
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you can cut the DHG super low so it spreads, you won't hurt it, that plant is super strong, i cut it low before I even plant it
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Old 09-03-2013, 04:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Simpson View Post
you can cut the DHG super low so it spreads, you won't hurt it, that plant is super strong, i cut it low before I even plant it
Cool good to know! Thank you
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:21 AM   #13
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October 22, 2013

Updates:

-Added 4x Otocinclus Catfish
-Added Anubias Nana
-Added 2x Nerite Snails
-Added DIY CO2 system


So It's been awhile since i've made any major updates. In my last update, I said I wanted to finish my DIY CO2 system. I couldn't get it to work for awhile so I took a little hiatus. 2 days ago I gave it another go and it's working. This has made me consider the upgrade to a "medium tech" setup. Already after two days I can see some significant growth differences in some plants, especially the Rotala Rotundifolia. I am currently battling some GHA and some of my plants are exhibiting signs of nutrient deficiency. For my next update, I would like to have a more sophisticated CO2 system. I am considering going pressurized. After that, I will be officially high-tech. Stay posted for more updates.
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Last edited by SunDevil76; 10-23-2013 at 10:37 AM.. Reason: spelling
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