I've had quite a few of misc. posts since joining, so I thought I'd start a journal here and document my tank. This forum has been really helpful, so I hope what I post here can help someone like me out as they get along in this hobby as well.
So, here we go!
My first tank (~2015)- Where it all started...
Fluval Edge 12g
-I thought this tank was big when I first got it as a stepping stone into to the hobby. I quickly outgrew it. I began to dabble with some plants using stock lighting and had pretty good success (with the help of Flourish/Excel).
Learned a few things from this setup:
1) Rock gravel substrate looks gross from the other side of the glass when all the fish debris (read: poop) starts to accumulate in the rock.
2) You don't necessarily NEED an expensive setup to grow plants. This used the stock LED light that was on all day and then switched the the blue light at night.
3) Cleaning this tank from the small square opening in the top was NOT worth the flashy look of the tank.
Guess I tried to clean it up
Then I upgraded to a 29 gallon:
-A fresh tank looks sooooo CLEAN. But I really messed this one up.
-Determined to not have the rock substrate issues noted above, I settled on white substrate (National Geographic brand- Petco). Although it's a fine substrate, I have since learned that while it looks incredible when new, it shows debris very quickly and will never look that clean again.
- I was so proud of my "planted tank."
- The baby tears did NOT go well.
Check out Gandalf! (Platinum Angel)- He's (she?) is still thriving, fyi. This was, like, a REAL fish!
Then diatoms started...
- everything must die, apparently.
- Here's what happens when you don't let a tank cycle properly and just decide to throw caution to the wind and go against every piece of advice on the internet.
- Fish were dying, algae was bloomin' and diatoms were thriving.
MORE DIATOMS- and struggling plants.
HELLO Seachem Phosguard
Got Diatoms? Let me introduce you to Seachem Phosguard
. A few round of this stuff and things are starting to come together again.
- I also started experimenting with wood I had found on the beaches around here (boiled, of course).
Sometimes you just can't stop changing things up
- Adding BIG plants and soaking Spiderwood after giving up on boiling it a million times to get it to soak up water.
- What I learned here is that the runners on plants can sometimes be cut off to plant on their own. Nature win (read: buy one get 3 free!)
Gave up on white substrate and decided it was time to rip the bandaid off and replace it with Flouride Black.
- Switching substrate is NOT for the faint of heart. I washed the substrate a gazillion times and didn't have any issues with clouding.
- Kept about 30-40% of the original water and didn't change the filter at all in the process.
- "Only" lost my three Otto's.
A few days later...
- Adding some new plants that should be here for the long haul. Really excited for the pearl weed to grow.
- It's looking quite busy/full in the tank but I'm hoping everything fills out nicely. Whatever grass that is in the center should
become a nice focal point.
Night time with the 24/7 LED doing it's thing.
(Night time is the best time)
-One of the things I like about the Finnex 24/7 is the way different plants (and fish) look at different times of the day.
And here we are in the AM "red" lighting
1) Updated growth photo a few weeks later. I've started dosing Seachem Iron and Potassium.
Picked up a C02 paintball kit from a member here. Running a 9oz bottle, so we'll see how long one tank lasts...