Fluval Desk Tank Setup - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Fluval Desk Tank Setup

As a way to track my own progress (and share it with others), I've decided start a tank journal. It took some time for me to decide on this, so I have a few backlogged pictures which I'll post in chronological order.

The current setup is basically low-tech. I'm running a fluval spec V, with stock pump and the stock light (ver. 2.0). The substrate is fluorite black with a few Tropica nutrition tabs spread underneath. The current plants include green cabomba, rotala rotundifolia, red ludwigia (which I bought green, so time will tell if it 'reddens' up) and s. repens as a supposed carpet.

The tank is home to one crowntail betta who is fairly aggressive so my plans of having some pygmy cories probably won't work out. There are also 3 'pest' snails, which I've decided to keep since there's only three (so far) and they do a good job of cleaning my rocks.

I've just begun fertilizing with nilocg Thrive (3x/week) after using flourish comp for the first few weeks (which did resulted in some macro deficiencies). I also dose excel daily. Water changes are about 40%-50% weekly.

Also, this is the first aquarium of my own. (my dad used to have a huge aquarium years ago with a bunch of discus and other species). This tank is about 3 weeks old.

I'm still very undecided about the scape, I'm not sure if I like it, and am very open to any suggestions or criticisms about it. I'm trying to figure out how to create more depth in such a narrow tank.

Also if anyone has any plant suggestions for a tank this size, that would be great!!

Enjoy!

Bump: This was from week one, right after the fish was added. At this point, I had a hornwort (which I sort of planted), rotala and s repens.

Bump: This was a small change, and a first propgation attempt of the s repens.
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Last edited by tjtobias; 03-11-2019 at 02:41 AM.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Finally, the most recent and dramatic change in the tank from two days ago. The Hornwort was removed, since it kept shedding, and was rotting in the substrate. Red ludwigia and green cabomba added.

Not sure about the current scape, so opinions are welcome!
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Last edited by tjtobias; 03-03-2019 at 07:14 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 07:26 PM
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I never had much luck with hornwort: it always fell apart and made a mess. The tank looks like a nice start: I might trim the tops of the (I think) Ludwigia on the right and replant them, in order to have more of a "grove" effect.

Looks like a nice start!

----
2x20-longs, one heavily planted. Platy rancher. They. Won't. Stop. Breeding.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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I never had much luck with hornwort: it always fell apart and made a mess. The tank looks like a nice start: I might trim the tops of the (I think) Ludwigia on the right and replant them, in order to have more of a "grove" effect.

Looks like a nice start!
Thanks!! Yeah I had the same messy problem with hornwort! And I took your advice about the ludwigia, it looked too big and it also kept flipping over
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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I've made a few changes! I've moved some of the s repens sprouts over and toward the front of the tank, as I felt they were competing with the other new plants.

Speaking of new plants! I picked up a bacopa compact and an anubias nana which look to be doing well so far. I'm not sure how the compact will grow in though, since most sources suggest its creeping, despite it being tall and narrow at the LFS (it was actually taller before I planted it).

Hopefully the ludwigia turns red, since there's a lot of green on the right side, but we'll see!

-T
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Changes! Again! I think I'm fairly satisfied with the current state, so I'm going to let everything settle and grow out...I hope. Anyway, I basically gave everything a trim and rearranged (since the old arrangement seemed to symmetrical). Hopefully the bacopa compact remains...compact so that I'll have tall growth on either side with an open swim space in the middle. I also pulled the s repens, as it wasn't doing too well. I replaced this with micranthemum monte carlo which i think suits this tank size much better.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 03:56 AM
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nice!

Started out, thinking it's a 5gal. tank chore for my grandkid want, now, it's turned into a expensive hobby that I've got only myself to blame fer.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 04:41 AM
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Very nice. I really like how this is progressing. You should be proud. I really like the rocks. They have great character. You latest arrangement is best IMO. A Buce or Crypt in front of the hardscape could help to draw the eye to the center and those beautiful rocks. Many preach the golden rule and while it does have it's merits, a centered focus has great eye appeal too. Your plants look very happy as well. Looking forward to seeing it fill in.

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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocho View Post
nice!
Thanks!!

Bump:
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Originally Posted by AguaScape View Post
@tjtobias
Very nice. I really like how this is progressing. You should be proud. I really like the rocks. They have great character. You latest arrangement is best IMO. A Buce or Crypt in front of the hardscape could help to draw the eye to the center and those beautiful rocks. Many preach the golden rule and while it does have it's merits, a centered focus has great eye appeal too. Your plants look very happy as well. Looking forward to seeing it fill in.
Thanks! I really struggled when deciding to put the rocks in the centre lol because I'm used to obeying the rule of thirds etc. But I think I made it work! I'll consider adding in a plant near the hardscape although I'll have to hold off because of the update below

Bump: Just when things are going right.....they go wrong!

I woke up this morning to find my betta with ich spots!!! I really have no clue how they got there, because I've been keeping very stable parameters in my tank, so I was a little surprised.

Anyway, my lfs gave me some good info for how to deal with ich in a planted tank. Currently I'm using Ruby Reef Kick-Ich which is plant and invert (since I have pest snails) safe. I really hope it doesn't disturb the plants, but also effectively clears up the ich. Luckily I caught it early, so we'll see how it goes.

For now I'll be taking it sloowww and steady.

-T
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 06:57 PM
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Is the tanks background frosted? If it is what did you use please
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Is the tanks background frosted? If it is what did you use please
Nope, it's just the wall behind it that may give that illusion. Sorry!
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 04:03 PM
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I've always been hesitant to add chemicals to the tank, but there is a method of raising the temperature to irradicate ich. Something to do with the higher temp speeds up their life cycle and doesn't allow them to reproduce. Worked for me when I had 200 fish get infested a while ago.


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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 04:36 PM
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Hi TJ, tank looks great. Hope all clears up with the Betta. I have a planted Betta tank too that I can't leave alone. Its been setup for months and I'm constantly adding plants, moving things around, fiddling with the hardscape. I think it's what keeps me engaged. I know I need to let it be so it has a chance to fill in, I'm just having too much fun experimenting. Keep the posts coming.

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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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I've always been hesitant to add chemicals to the tank, but there is a method of raising the temperature to irradicate ich. Something to do with the higher temp speeds up their life cycle and doesn't allow them to reproduce. Worked for me when I had 200 fish get infested a while ago.
Yeah I too am reluctant to use the chemicals, but a friend of mine with a reef tank has used the product with no issues so I figured it'd be safe. Also my temps are around 75 as it is so I wasnt sure how much higher I could go without stressing the fish.
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Hi TJ, tank looks great. Hope all clears up with the Betta. I have a planted Betta tank too that I can't leave alone. Its been setup for months and I'm constantly adding plants, moving things around, fiddling with the hardscape. I think it's what keeps me engaged. I know I need to let it be so it has a chance to fill in, I'm just having too much fun experimenting. Keep the posts coming.
I can definately relate to that! It's like you love it one day and hate it the next! I think the current layout is "growing" on me, so I'll leave it be.

Also the ich seems to be subsiding, and all plants and snails intact! Should be treated in no time!
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