Spec V - Mistakes were made! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
minorhero's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 136
Spec V - Mistakes were made!

I have had an aquarium on and off since I was a child. Always smaller tanks and never with plants until about 5 years ago where I technically had my first planted tank. Just a couple of plants in a 29 gallon bowfront. I ran that tank for a couple of years and then got rid of it when I moved. My wife and I moved again into our current place back in October of 2018. Shortly after I started watching some videos on youtube and heard the term "aquascape" for the first time. I became fascinated by it and decided it was time to get another tank.

I am currently renting and the wife is not super excited about aquariums. So the tank needed to be pretty small. This would really be my first planted tank where I actually did more then just add 2 plants and walk away. It has gone through a LOT of changes and frankly I did not document all of them. In fact I had no intention of writing a journal whatsoever. But after being on this site for a while I decided to go ahead and start documenting this tank while the wife and I hunt for our next house to buy. After we buy that house I will get my next real tank which will be substantially bigger.

In the meantime, enter the Spec V.

So yea... a lot of mistakes were made with this tank starting with the fact that I bought the saltwater version instead of the freshwater. They are absolutely identical except that the saltwater version comes with a 10k light which makes everything look a bit washed out. I didn't realize how much I would hate this when I bought it. I just wanted a light strong enough to grow plants and I figured the saltwater version would do that. But yea.. definitely not a good way to go.

I don't have many pictures of the tank after the initial setup but I did manage to find two:



This one is the best FTS I had of its initial setup. The substrate is eco-complete which I really do not like. The hardscape is 3 rocks. The large rock on the left is huge but I really liked how the sword plant next to it looked and left it in for most of the tanks life up to current. This rock would determine much of the rest of the aquascape. The moss balls.. yea I bought a bunch online for pretty cheap and decided I wanted to use them all...... so not the best decision.



Here you can see the tank and where it is located. Its very visible from 3 sides which mean all the aquascape needs to be in the middle row of the tank and I can't just lean everything up against the back. This makes aquascaping pretty challenging.

Stocking for the tank was a betta named Umami, various neo shrimp, and at one point a orange dwarf crayfish. Here is the next iteration I have record of:



I wanted to provide hiding places for the shrimp so I used a piece of manzinita wood and attached java moss to it. The java moss kinda took over. It provided hiding places but blocked out the rest of everything a bit too effectively.

I removed the wood eventually and glued the java moss directly to the rocks. Over the next few months things grew in pretty well until I added too much excel or flourish or both during a water change and managed to kill a few shrimp and my poor crayfish who could not climb the walls to get out of the danger zone.

Here are some pictures from this time period.







You can see some Ludwigia and some cabomba in these pictures. At some point I tried growing stems. They did ok but at the time I was unaware folks would cut the tops off these plants after they establish themselves and replant them getting rid of the bottoms. This would definitely have been helpful information to me since I ultimately got rid of the stems because the tops looked great but the bottoms looked terrible. I thought they were just dying. They might have been... but they also might have just been adjusting to submersed growth. So yea.. mistakes.

Regarding the stocking, even at the start of the aquarium I noted that Umami was not a great swimmer and preferred to move as little as possible. I have had bettas like this before but Umami was especially unmotivated. After a few months I noticed he was essentially only moving when food was offered. The rest of the time he would hang out against the skimmer part of the filter and not move. The current was not too strong for him since I had muffled it by this point. He just didn't like to move. I rescaped the tank a couple of times to see if I could interest him but nothing worked. Sometime in early spring I decided it was time for Umami to go back to the fish store and to get some endlers which would be more active and interesting fish.

What I was not prepared for was my 2 year old daughter having bonded quite thoroughly to Umami. She pretty much lost it when she saw me bagging him up. Thereafter whenever she was upset about something she would start asking about Umami. She cared not at all for the endlers which I frankly thought were pretty neat.

After a couple of months of of this with no sign of her losing interest in the departed Umami I decided it was time for Umami to come back. This time though I would be more careful with my betta selection.

Umami being a very modern fish had gone through a bit of a transformation while he was away. He looked quite a bit different and also had a sex change. She was now a koi style plakat betta. My daughter did not sweat the differences and once more was happy and fascinated with the aquarium.

In preparation for the new Umami I did another rescape (my 5th or 6th by this point). I finally removed the big rock to the left which really freed up some space. Here are some pictures of the tank as it is today:







The big brown leaf is a mini catappa leaf.

The current setup is still settling in with some melt on the crypts but overall I am quite happy. This post has been crazy long so I will end it here and update more on the tank as things happen.
minorhero is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 01:08 PM
Algae Grower
 
chicken.nublet's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Singapore
Posts: 78
I think the tank looks beautiful, I'd love to see an FTS of the current look.

Old Umami looks beautiful but I guess that crazy tail must have weighed it down a lot. New Umami looks gorgeous too!
chicken.nublet is online now  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
minorhero's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 136
So I just learned a whole lot about trying to photograph my tank. One thing I learned was that I should do it at night when the windows won't be introducing glare. I tried blankets and it was terrible heh.

I used a blanket for the back of the tank just so I wouldn't have all the stuff on my kitchen counter showing through. Here is a full tank shot as requested:

minorhero is online now  
 
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 04:20 AM
Algae Grower
 
chicken.nublet's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Singapore
Posts: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
So I just learned a whole lot about trying to photograph my tank. One thing I learned was that I should do it at night when the windows won't be introducing glare. I tried blankets and it was terrible heh.

I used a blanket for the back of the tank just so I wouldn't have all the stuff on my kitchen counter showing through. Here is a full tank shot as requested:


Haha yeah, I always take pictures of my tank at night. You tank looks great! Looking forward to more updates.
chicken.nublet is online now  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
minorhero's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 136
I really didn't intend to be updating this journal so quickly... but .. well.. DISASTER

So I was feeding my infant son while my 2 year old daughter played in another room. No big deal, our house is childproof, this happens all the time. But as it turns out our house is only 'mostly' childproof. Our daughter has gained a lot of capabilities over the past few months including the ability to move chairs around and then climb up on them. This defeats a lot of previous childproofing. It hasn't been a problem till today because she has never messed with things she isn't normally allowed access to. She is old enough to recognize what she is allowed to touch and what she isn't.

What I didn't take into account is that I allow her to feed the fish. Heck, I encourage her interest in the tank. I just never allow her to feed the fish without me giving her the correct amount of food and usually holding her hand as she does it.

Today she managed to pull the chair up to one part of the counter where the food is kept. Get a container of omega 1 betta food. Get down, push the chair over to the tank. Unscrew the lid. And dump the entire can into the tank, onto the lid, onto the floor, onto the cat's stand next to the tank.

I was unaware of this. I didn't discover the issue till about 20 minutes later (I am guessing). When I walked by I didn't even realize what had happened. My first thought was that the water looks cloudy, and the lighting appears odd. Then what I was seeing registered. This was how that looked.



I would estimate that the amount of food in the middle was over a centimeter deep.

So I immediately got out the gravel vac and tried to get as much up as I could and do a big water change. I still missed a ton and just the act of gravel vacuuming ended up spreading a lot around. I did another water change and gravel vac about 30 minutes later. At this point I decided I wasn't going to be able to get all the food up without removing the plants. The pellets had all drifted into my jungle area and I couldn't gravel vac without just smashing the plants flat.

I bit the bullet and pulled everything except the hairgrass (though eventually I pulled at least half of that as well). This is how that looked:



And the plants I pulled:



I then spent some time replanting everything. I did organize it a bit better with different types of plants not just being thrown in as a complete jungle like before (though its still a jungle - at least now it has layers). Other then that its essentially the same as before. Here is what it looks like now:



Now to move the remaining food well out of reach.
minorhero is online now  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 06:45 PM
Planted Member
 
Cinnamonamon's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Michigan
Posts: 162
"Have kids!" they said, "It will be fun!" they said...

I am very happy I didn't discover aquariums until the oldest was 11! Glad you were able to avert disaster fairly quickly. I might use prime liberally and keep an eye on ammonia levels for a week or two though!

It's not a mystery...snails are the BEST!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Cinnamonamon is online now  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome