First “Large” Aquascape - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2018, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
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May 14th 2018

Hey guys. Haven’t been on here for a while, but I’m starting on my first project that isn’t a nano tank, and I’m super excited. So I wanted to journal my tank. If anybody would like to leave any tips / tricks / criticism they’re more than welcome to!

It’s a 20Long aquarium, I’ve got a Fluval Aquaclear 20 on the right side, and a Fluval Aquaclear 70 on the left side. A later to be replaced Tetra 30 heater, a digital thermometer (I’ve got 6 of these, all of them read accurately.) and an Aqueon Optibright lightbar.

The first few additions to the inside of the tank; 16Lbs of Fluval Stratum Subtrate, a “TopFin” driftwood piece, purchased from Petsmart, which will remain bare, two Cedar Root clumps, one with Java moss, and the other with Windelov Java Fern. Wood & Moss Purchased from my LFS, Java fern was home grown in a different tank. And two large pieces of Ohko Dragonstone, totalling 11lbs, also from the LFS. Probably going to do a dry start considering the plants I have on order;

Nympoides Hygrophila “Taiwan”
Red Tiger Lotus
Madagascar Laceleaf
Dwarf Sag.
Cryptocoryne Undulata in Red
5 different Miniclumps of Varius Buceplants
Several Anubias Nana Petite

Probably going to cycle the tank with Ramshorns, but I would prefer not to use the Brown ones we get at work that I use for feeders, if anybody has some reds / blues, let me know 🙂
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2018, 04:14 AM
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Nice looking start to your new project. I've only done one DSM which didn't go well for me. Too much water in the tank I think. Follow the good advice here and you should do well. Keep the progress pics coming :-)


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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May 16th
Got some new plants today from my LFS, 2 pots of Anubias Nana Petite that I was able to split into 6 different Rhizomes & glue to some shards of the dragon stone that chipped off on the ride home (oops).

And some Cryptocoryne Undulata Red, invitro from my workplace, (Petsmart) and I had my LFS special order in a 1-2-Grow cup of Hygrophila Nymphoides ‘Taiwan’ for me. The crypt is circled in red and the Taiwan is circled in green.

I got my stand in today from some random furniture company. Assembled well, still need to get the electrical holes drilled.

In more unfortunate news, I might have lost the Java fern I had on my driftwood, the whole “I don’t wanna fill the tank til my stem/bulb/bunch plants are planted took a bit of a toll. But I’ll let you guys be the judge? Are the Java Fern gonna come back?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-20-2018, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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May 18th

Although I’m not posting on May 18th, i got a bunch of new plants May 18th.

I got my bulb plants in! Unfortunately all of the laceleaf’s leaves were dead by the time they arrived, but I’m hoping when I flood the tank they’ll grow nice and strong. I bought a packet of really healthy looking invitro S Repens from work (Petsmart), to line the piece of driftwood that the laceleaf is behind. My mom accidentally purchased an extra pot of Monte Carlo for her 25Cube that she’s starting up alongside me, so she handed it off to me so I planted it amongst the Anubias Petits.

On the other side of the tank, I bordered my Red Crypt in some Dwarf Sag, the end goal is to have really cool layers of color. I’ve got the Green Taiwan in the back that’ll grow up all the way to the top, and the stones that maybe go 10” up the tank, which are going to be coated in different Greens, Reds, and Brown Buce plants, with the crypt red maybe reaching 7 or 8”, the Dwarf Sag reaching 4”. Hopefully the MonteCarlo won’t ruin that.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 05:57 AM Thread Starter
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May 25th

Got all the rest of my plants in. Several different species of Buce from buceplant.com to coat the two pieces of dragonstone in, and some leftover for the piece of driftwood covering the filter spout on the left. Going to look amazing once the Buce fills in.

With all the plants in place, I was finally able to flood the aquarium. It’s looking amazing and I’m super excited to see how everything grows.

I also received in some really pretty Red Ramshorns from a forum user here. About 50 of them total. Shoutout to Jas!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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May 27th

First water change! I also took all the montecarlo and buried it completely in hopes that the roots will hold and only shoot tiny little sprouts to the surface.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 06:06 AM Thread Starter
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May 29th

I’m declaring my Madagascar Laceleaf bulbs as deceased. It’s got a gross white slime all over them, no new leaves, and the snails are feasting.

Also worried about my tiger lotus, it’s not looking too hot and it looks like I may have some dying leaves. Probably Gonna make a second post looking for troubleshooting on it.

But have notable growth from my anubias Nana petit (of all things) and it seems like the Taiwan grows 2 inches while I’m at work everyday. Insane! The light blue line shows the size when I flooded the tank about 4 days ago, the purple line shows the size when I did my water change 2 days ago, and the red line shows where the size when I left for work this morning.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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May 30th

Another partial water change before the big day! I went to my LFS in the Seattle area and I found a really nice Madagascar Laceleaf sitting in their plant tank so I snatched it right up. I also took home the first fish to be introduced to the tank! A school of 6 silver tip tetras & a pair of Julii Corydoras. Super excited to see this come together.

I am however having a bit of a pH issue. My tap is 7.8, so I figured the substrate & the driftwood would get it down to 7, but it actually took it all the way down to 6.2, I’m heartset on all of the pieces, so I guess I gotta find some crushed corals.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zensational View Post
I am however having a bit of a pH issue. My tap is 7.8, so I figured the substrate & the driftwood would get it down to 7, but it actually took it all the way down to 6.2, Iím heartset on all of the pieces, so I guess I gotta find some crushed corals.
No worries, just add a teaspoon of baking soda. That will bring your KH up a couple degrees, hence raising the pH. Fluval Stratum doesn't buffer for very long with carbonates/bicarbonates in the water. It's one of the weaker buffering substrates out there.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 05:47 AM Thread Starter
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I am however having a bit of a pH issue. My tap is 7.8, so I figured the substrate & the driftwood would get it down to 7, but it actually took it all the way down to 6.2, I’m heartset on all of the pieces, so I guess I gotta find some crushed corals.
No worries, just add a teaspoon of baking soda. That will bring your KH up a couple degrees, hence raising the pH. Fluval Stratum doesn't buffer for very long with carbonates/bicarbonates in the water. It's one of the weaker buffering substrates out there.
That’s what I thought too, it just worries me that the combination of Cedar & Stratum brought the pH down by 2 whole levels.

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