Most current pic, taken 4/7/11
This tank is about 3 years old. It was the first tank that I set up for growing plants. I had planted tanks before, but they were only low light setups (both with Eclipse hoods). This tank was doing well, and I had plants doing fairly well, but it got pretty neglected as I had 2 babies in 2 years. Now my baby is 14 months old, and I have slightly more time to take care of it. I am trying to figure out how to improve conditions for plant growth (and fish health along with it), and improve the design and appearance, without spending much money.
Standard 55 gallon tank
2x55 watt AHS supply lighting
Eheim 2217 canister filter and an old HOT Magnum filter
gravel with flourite mixed in back half
DIY CO2 (Just started this week.)
I have very hard tap water with high PH. My ph is abot 8.5. I cut it in half with RO water, which makes the water a bit softer, but doesn't help ph much
KH 300 ppm
I think my water is a big reason why I can only seem to grow the hardiest of plants.
Lots of Java ferns
a couple different crypts
floating plant (not duckweed, it's bigger and redish)
one very small and sad amazon sword
1 clown pleco
1 cardinal tetra
(Had some sort of bacteria or fungus about 6 months ago that wiped out everyone else.)
My plants started going downhill about that time too. I haven't been adding ferts, so it could be from being so understocked.
Here is the tank a few months after I set it up.
And this is when it looked the best, about 1.5 years ago.
And this is from last night.
Do bulbs get yellow with age? These are over a year old, and I remember them looking very nice when I first got them.
The vals used to grow like crazy, and the last few months they have been shrinking. All my corkscrews are gone now.
I did quit cutting my water with RO a couple months ago. I have read hard water and high ph is fine for fish as long as it is stable. I didn't realize it could be so hard on plants, and thought that might be contributing to the problem, so have started adding RO again.
As you can see from the progression, stem plants have never done well in my tank.