Ok, so I am not new to the fish keeping hobby but I still consider myself a noob....especially with a planted tank. They have always appealed to me and I've always thought one of those amazing tanks I've see online would be cool to have. Unfortunately, whenever I'd plant something it'd die shortly after. Soon after I realized there is much more to a planted tank then just buying a plant and plopping it in some gravel at the bottom of your tank and expecting it to grow. So here I am today armed with much more knowledge but I still feel like it's a lot to learn! Anyhow, on to it.
I purchased a 55G tank at petsmart's $1/gallon sale awhile back ago so that's what I'm working with. The following is my equipment/what I'm working with list:
55 Gallon from Petsmart and a stand purchased from a second hand store, sanded, painted, new hardware, a little extra support in middle bottom.
Eheim Classic 350, 2215 Canister Filter
And in the filter is:
Eheim white filter pad
Eheim blue coarse foam filter pad
Eheim Substrat Pro
Eheim Carbon Pad
Additionally, I was having issues with film/oily substance on surface of water so I bought the JBL Top Clean II and attached it to intake. Problem solved. It's a bit of a clunker but I read nothing but positive things about it.
Eheim Jager 200W
Aquatic Life Edge 48" LED
CO2Art Pro-SE Regulator, Solenoid, Bubble Counter, and Inline Atomizer/Diffuser; utilizing Coldbreak 5lb Tank
Caribsea Instant Aquarium Crystal River and Miracle Gro Nature's Care Organic & Natural Potting Mix
I think that's it for equipment. Oh, I have a Max-Spect Gyre-Generator from when I was running a saltwater tank. I initially hooked this thing up to the tank but I didn't like the amount of flow it was putting out even at the lowest power setting. And on top of that, it was just another piece of equipment I had in the tank. So, for now its back in its container in the stand waiting for use again one day (possibly).
I started the tank on 22 Feb 19 (61 days ago). I researched quite extensively different types of substrate and finally settled on using Miracle Gro instead of the more common/widely used nutrient plant substrates out there (yes, the idea was I wanted to save money
) I couldn't find definitive results as to whether or not this would work, but I saw plenty of success stories with it so I figured as long as I capped it with some sand I'd be good to go. This is all new to me so I'm willing to learn the hard way if necessary. At least next time I'll know if this doesn't work out the way I'd hoped.
For the hardscape I settled on two interesting pieces of driftwood I found at my LFS (Mopani, I believe). Played around with them a little in the store before picking them to see if they would be appealing to the eye...personally I think they are, but who knows...anyhow.
I’m new to this site as well so forgive if I mess this post up somehow, format wise. I’m not even really sure if I’m inserting the pictures the right way. I wanted to use this to document my progress as well get as many opinions and as much advice as possible. I really didn’t feel like I had a solid plan to begin with as far as a “vision”. Hopefully next time I come up with a design and go from there.
Neon Tetras – 10
Zebra Dannios – 4
Siamese Algae Eater – 1
Peppered Cory’s – 3
Cherry Shrimp – 4 or 5
Amano Shrimp – 2
Ghost Shrimp – Maybe 8 now
Nerite Snails – 4 or 5
I plan on adding more fish/invertebrate at a later time once the tank fills in more. Open to suggestions on future stocking list!
Now the fun/confusing part for me…plants. If I could get some assistance on identifying some of these that would be great. I threw away the receipt and packaging and kicked myself thinking I should’ve kept it and learned the names of the plants. And I really don’t have a HUGE variety, but….it’s a work in progress.
The ones I’m sure of (I think)
A: Hygrophilia Corymbosa; Siamensis 53b
B: Littorella Uniflora
C: Glossostigma Elatinoides
E: Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis (This is also labeled E by accident, was supposed to be D but I messed it up. Its between the two pieces of driftwood)
E: Microsorum Pteropus ‘Narrow’
The ones I’m unsure of
F: Cryptocoryne Wendtii ‘Green’?
G: Cryptocoryne Crispatula?
What I’ve experienced so far is this…the hyrgophilia corymbosa and the Cryptocoryne Crispatula (if that’s what that one is) have grown the best/quickest. The cryptocoryne crispatula constantly sends out new runners. I had to pull quite a few up and snip the runner and plant it elsewhere because it was infiltrating on the space of other plants. The Glossostigma, Lilaeopsis and Microsorum are recent additions, like within the last week. None were in the greatest condition to begin with. Should I remove what appears to be dead with Glossostigma? Should I buy more? Also, I’m confused on the Microsorum. Is it supposed to planted in the substrate or attached to something? I read both are possible. The Crypt Wendtii initially withered up and died (at least it appeared that’s what it was doing) when I planted it. Then all of a sudden, about a week ago, it started popping up out of the substrate.
I’m seriously open to any and all suggestions/advice. I will continue updating this to hopefully show some progression. I’m now dealing with brown algae though. It’s for sure in the areas of the substrate where there are no plants to block/absorb the light. Should I add more plants? For whoever read all the way to this last sentence…thank you and sorry. This was a long post.