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Old 10-08-2014, 08:47 PM   #1
Harshal1992
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First 7.5G Planted Starfire


Hey guys,

This is going to be my first ever journal of the evolution of my 12inx12in Starfire tank. I'm trying to take pictures every week so I can get a good idea of how the plants are growing in. Keep in mind that I'm still in university, so I do fall behind on my WC schedule and/or tank cleaning schedule from time to time.

Any type of constructive criticism is welcome! I've been following this forum for ages but have never posted anything, so I felt like it's my time to contribute, at least as much as I can.

Hardware:
7.5G rimless starfire tank - 12in x 12 in.
10 lb pressurized CO2 with a regulator + solenoid.
27W Compact Fluorescent lamp.
Red Sea nano-filter.
Netlea Lambo Natural Soil.

Fauna:
Harlequin Rasboras (Down to 9 from 11).
RCS (can't count how many, I put in around 4 but now easily have 30+).
Random snails.

Flora:
HC
Stargrass
Rotala Rotundifolia (or Indica?)
Anubius Nana
Alternanthera Reineckii
Narrow-leaf Hygro (Can someone confirm this?)

Dosing Flourish:
Excel - 1mL Tues-Sat, 3mL on Monday
Comprehensive - 1mL Mon/Wed/Sat
Phosphorus - 0.5mL Mon/Thurs
Nitrogen - 0.5mL Mon/Thurs
Iron - 1mL Mon-Sat
Potassium - 1.3mL Wed/Fri

After planting:


Week 1:


Week 2:


Week 3:


Week 4:
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Old 10-10-2014, 08:31 PM   #2
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Week 5! Not much change, but the rotala is definitely getting taller and my HC is starting to fill out the middle more . Can't wait to have a full carpet!

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Old 10-11-2014, 09:22 AM   #3
cephelix
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looking good! anubias putting out a flower, hc carpeting.... keep up the good work...it does look like your tank need a water change or two, but i can totally relate with the busy schedule. that said, your tank looks good...maybe you could trade in the harlequins for smaller fishes and trim the rotala to get a thicker background.
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:01 PM   #4
Harshal1992
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Thank you!

Any recommendations regarding the type of fish I might want to look into to accent the depth of the tank? I'm definitely going to be trimming down the rotala some time this week and replanting the tops to make both sides much bushier.
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:42 AM   #5
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well, for a sense of scale, you could use fine-leaved plants, something like rotala wallachii or pogostemon erectus though i've seen a few that have forced perspective where they use broader-leaved plants in the front, and fine-leaved plants in the back.

for fish, i've always liked
but they somehow keep jumping out of my tank.
Currently i have
in my 1ft. Very nice schoolers. they don't get as big as the harlequins but still too big for my taste. off the top of my head those are the 2 that i can remember. I'll keep you updated if anything else comes to mind.


can see the fishes in this pic..i myself am looking for something smaller but cannot seem to find any

Last edited by cephelix; 10-12-2014 at 05:43 AM.. Reason: reshuffle
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Old 10-12-2014, 07:53 PM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions! Will definitely be looking out for new fish at my LFS.

I love the background on your tank - what are you using? I hate seeing the wall of my room.
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:19 PM   #7
cephelix
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using a frosted vinyl backing
something like this

allows you to light your background for a sunset feel to your tank. there are other journals in the forum that do this
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Old 10-14-2014, 06:21 PM   #8
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Just got back to my room after the Thanksgiving holiday, and noticed that my Anubias flower is withering away. I'm guessing I'll have to trim it off soon before it starts rotting in the tank.




Just did a quick WC and wanted to post a couple of side shots for you to gain more perspective on my tank:


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Old 10-17-2014, 12:15 AM   #9
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Close up of one of my berried RCS and some others grazing on my HC (my iPhone 4S camera isn't the best)...


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Old 10-17-2014, 08:13 PM   #10
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Do I need higher lighting in my tank, or do you guys think this is fine? I thought the Rotala's would have had more of a pink tinge to them, but it stays more on the yellow-orange range.
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:39 PM   #11
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[Update] Week 6:
Got around to fashioning a construction paper black background since I won't be able to get to home depot for a while.



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Old 10-20-2014, 03:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harshal1992 View Post
Do I need higher lighting in my tank, or do you guys think this is fine? I thought the Rotala's would have had more of a pink tinge to them, but it stays more on the yellow-orange range.
You are over 3W/gal and have good growth. I think your lighting situation is fine.

Bump: By the way, it looks great! I Was looking at your thread because I just pulled my 7.5 out of the garage after nearly a 4 year hibernation. I'm going to start cycling it tomorrow and was looking for some inspiration.
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Old 10-27-2014, 03:28 PM   #13
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Just chopped off a ton of rotala and a lot of my hygro! Hoping the rotala will grow back bunchier



My HC are pearling!

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Old 10-29-2014, 09:56 PM   #14
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Soooo, I put my hands in the tank to try and scrape some GSA off of the anubius and my fish went NUTS. One jumped out and another attempted to. Luckily I tended to it right away and it's now safe and sound back within the tank.

I'm not sure why this happened... usually they just cower in the corner and try to figure out what's happening. I did just up the CO2 bps to see if I could get more pearling, could that be it?
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:22 PM   #15
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Hey guys!

My tank's been running for a while now, and I just did a pretty large trim on most of the plants 1-2 weeks ago. I'm running a pressurized CO2 system, with medium-high lighting on a 7.5 gallon tank (12in x 12in cube). Everything's starting to grow back with new buds, but I'm noticing some irregularities. Let me also point out that my plants are all pearling (if that helps at all). First off, let me state my dosing:

Seachem Flourish: 1mL on Mon/Saturday
Seachem Excel: 1mL only sometimes
Seachem Iron: 1mL Daily
Seachem Potassium: 1.3 mL Wed/Fri
Seachem Nitrogen: 0.5 mL Mon/Thurs
Seachem Phosphorus: 0.5 mL Mon/Thurs

Also, I haven't checked the water parameters on my tank since I don't have a kit and the LFS near my university is about 1 hour away by bus (and I can't afford the time right now).

Below are some photos of my plants with some of the oddities circled in red:

(I'm posting this photo to show that new growth on my stargrass seems to be doing well, although it's staying super low to the substrate and creeping as if it's my foreground)




This anubias leaf is probably about 2 weeks old (the leaves around it are newer than it).


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