Agathi's Fluval Spec V Puffer River tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Agathi's Fluval Spec V Puffer River tank

Hi there!!

This is my first real aquarium. I've always wanted something other than the fishbowls my parents allowed me when I was younger (I know, ick) and now that I've moved out, I've invested in a real aquarium. Unfortunately, not as big as I'd like due to limited space.

I've been lurking through planted aquarium forums and whatnot for years, so I'm very excited to get my own show on the road and contribute something!

Start date: December 27th 2017

Tank: Fluval Spec V

Lighting: 7000K stock light

Substrate: Flourite Black Sand capped with Caribsea SuperNaturals sand

Flora: Anubias nana petite, Fissidens moss, Hetheranter zostifolia, Echinodoros tenellus, Cryptocoryne wendtii (I believe), and what was sold as Alternantera Reineckii mini but I'm pretty sure is some type of Ludwigia.

Fauna: 3 hitchhiker snails (they gon' get et), some stupid planaria or detritus worms.
When cycled, I'm thinking 1 dwarf puffer and 3 otos OR 3 large amano shrimp.

Layout:

Unlike most tanks, this one is viewed from both sides... So its gotta look good from both sides. I wanted something like a river bed flowing downward. Not a dramatic slope, but I really love the driftwood I picked for that reason.

However, I'm thinking of breaking the large rock up into smaller pieces to have more surface area to put plants in that corner and also create some more height and visual interest, as well as nooks and crannies for my future inhabitants to explore. Or maybe get larger, smoother river stones. Also, I'd like to hide the end of the driftwood in the rocks. Thoughts? Boyfriend likes it the way it is but I'm not sold.

Atm, I'm doing a fishless cycle using food. Today I measured .25ppm Ammonia, .25ppm nitrite and 5ppm nitrate (a few hours after adding more food) so I'm nearly cycled.

The tank is currently suffering from an algae outbreak that appeared yesterday. Many of my plants were apparently grown immersed (the grass and zostifolia) and so are melting away but theres been new growth the past couple days! The only thing is that the zosti is growing roots from all over. I'm too much of a noob to know what its trying to tell me.

Today started dosing Seachem Iron up to .25-.5ppm and tomorrow Excel.


First day planted and flooded.


The guy at my LFS was nice enough to give me a towel and the floor Spec to try hardscapes on.

Hardscape.

The other side - some new growth but also a buttload of algae.

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Last edited by Agathi; 01-09-2018 at 01:45 AM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Lil hitchhiker and growth on my stargrass! Cant wait for algae to be gone so I can fully appreciate the tank.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 01:09 PM
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It looks really good! Excellent start. As you mentioned it might look better if you broke up that large rock. It might be a little too big for the proportions. I wouldn't change anything about the driftwood though. As long as the anubias rhizomes are not buried I would let things acclimate as far as plants. The only possible problem is that fissidens along with most mosses doesn't like excel. Perhaps if you start out with very small doses it will attenuate, but fissidens is finicky.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Ill watch out for the fissidens then! I did not know that, so thank you.

A question about the Zosti, there new leaves growing from the top and roots growing right under them. Most of the plant below that looks like crap, clear and brown. Should I trim off the healthy tops and plant those and get rid of the dead bits or leave as is? Same question for the grass, really.

Today Ammonia and Nitrites were .25 again, and Nitrate dropped to 0. Is this ok?

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2018, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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The diatom outbreak is getting crazy, but I understand thats normal for new tanks (also, I have sand).Went to my LFS today and picked up what I thought were some very pretty Malaysian Trumpet Snails, and a Nerite snail. On further research, the pretty blue color in the trumpet snails isn't typical. Im happy to say they still burrowed into the ground straight away. Theyll hopefully be a self sustaining colony of food for my future puffer and I'm glad to know they help the substrate.

The Nerite's name, due to his stripes, is Early Tim Burton.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2018, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Went to another LFS for some rock shopping - decided i needed a smaller, more dynamic arrangement with some height and nooks and crannies for plants and shrimp, instead of one big rock lump taking up most of the tanks footprint. Lucky for me this shop has a big sandbox to play in.

Tank is also cycled, so I'll be rescaping on Monday and getting some Amano shrimp!!

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2018, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Since the aquarium finished cycling, I rescaped and did a water change, removed all the detritus that comes with a fish food cycle. Bought 3 Amano shrimp! Boyfriend wanted to name em, so meet Leslie, Chandler, and Frank Jr Jr.

The new scape feels more dynamic, moved the large crypt between the two stones to fill in the gap... Considering its an aquarium meant to be viewed from both sides, scaping is kinda challenging but I'm super glad with how it turned out this time!

Also did some very slight mods to the tank, I covered up the bottom filter intake and wrapped the upper portion of the filter block in a more dense filter pad to help polish the water a little better since the mechanical filtration has been so so thus far.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-01-2018, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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So I finally got my puffer - hes so tiny! To think I was worried he'd eat the shrimp... So far he's very frightened of them.

He has, however, eaten both eye stalks and the tail tip off of my pond snail. Slow torture, but the snail is still going. Have not seen any of the MTS come out since he arrived!

His name is Toad.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-01-2018, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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On another note, the Stargrass is pissing me off, it just seems to melt - the crypts are quite happy though, so I'm thinking to get rid of the stargrass and put in some taller crypts instead like spiralis, and maybe another bushier kind of plant thats a little more hardy.

The tenellus is also growing a lot taller than I expected so I'm not totally digging it, it is very happy though with a crazy amount of runners. Any suggestions for a lower carpet?

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-01-2018, 02:42 PM
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If you wanted, you could probably get away with another puffer. I've got two in my spec V, getting along just fine.

Tank looks great though, wish I had your eye for scaping!

My tanks:

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-02-2018, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbachmann View Post
If you wanted, you could probably get away with another puffer. I've got two in my spec V, getting along just fine.

Tank looks great though, wish I had your eye for scaping!
I've been debating getting another! From what I understand tho, 2 may get violent as they get older, depends on the puffers personality too though. Debating getting another two to make three but that may be a bit much.

And thank you!!! Its from a decade of lurking on planted tank forums and getting ideas. I'd love to do a different kind of scape sometime too since this one has some constraints. Right now I just cant wait for it to finally look lush.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-02-2018, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agathi View Post
I've been debating getting another! From what I understand tho, 2 may get violent as they get older, depends on the puffers personality too though. Debating getting another two to make three but that may be a bit much.

And thank you!!! Its from a decade of lurking on planted tank forums and getting ideas. I'd love to do a different kind of scape sometime too since this one has some constraints. Right now I just cant wait for it to finally look lush.

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I think it really depends a lot on the individual fish and how the tank is arranged. Mine has a lot of stems which break up sight lines and give the fish spaces where they dont see each other, not sure if it would work as well in a more sparse tank like yours. That said, I'm sure yours will grow in more.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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So its been a while since I've updated!

Ive had some mild issues with the plants. The only ones that are happy and growing are the wendtii crypts and funnily enough, the fissidens. The stargrass and red plant wouldn't grow and eventually lost most of their leaves, leaving the back of the aquarium bare and ruining my triangle scape. My anubias got holes, the grass turned coppery, amd growth has been slow overall. After a month without water changes, my nitrates would still be at 0 (and yes, everything else too) I figured I needed more fish in the system to balance out the plant's needs.

So yesterday I added some hydrocotyle tipartita, cryptocoryne balensae, and some tall eleocharis grass, as well as 3 otos. I may purchase some more shrimp in the future. The tank was already occupied by a dwarf puffer, a nerite snail and 3 amano shrimp (who have grown a lot!)
I'm going to be rearranging the taller plants in back though as it looks a tad too disorganized - I'd like to bring the tripartita closer to the wood, in between the rocks, so they can grow over the wood and make the stems already twisted around the wood look more naturally placed. Will be moving the balensae back so it can get a little more light and create more texture variety, and will put the taller grass more together too.

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