Wow - what a year!
A year ago this month I joined Planted Tank. What an adventure it has been!
I suppose I'm pretty typical. I had a freshwater fish tank that I decided to put some plants in. So I got some plants at the LFS. And I got some extra fish, because plants eat the fish poop right? So you can get more fish! Or so went the thinking.
Over the next few weeks some withered, some died, and some just kinda sat there. And of course I had green water. Time to seek help, advice and information. It was in that journey that I discovered The Planted Tank.
This place has been fantastic! You all should take credit for making this a great source of information for keeping planted tanks. But it's also more than that. It's a place to ask opinions, a place to share funny stories about your tank, and a place to get an understanding shoulder to cry on when something bad happens to your tank. I know.
So you all need to give yourselves a pat on the back for making this the wonderful virtual community that it is.
BLAMING THE GUILTY
Many, many people have been helpful for me as I struggled to get beyond dying plants and green water to a vibrant and healthy tank. Too many to name here. But for significant help I would especially like to thank the following:
Thank you all for your help, support, and sometimes even more important; your sense of humor. I just I hope I can return the favor.
It's all about the tank right? My tank has gone through some evolution.
1) Keeping anything alive. Any plant at all.
2) Making plants GROW!
3) Pseudo-arranged for attractiveness.
4) Aquascaped, if poorly.
5) Aquascaped, but compromised in order to keep sample plants that I've been successful with just in case I want them for a larger tank.
6) Waiting for teardown. The current state as I plan to cannibalize the plumbing for a larger tank, currently under construction.
THE PICS from YEAR 1
So I'll trade some pictures below for my typical 1,000 words...
The beginning, where I knew
that I needed help! 1 Year ago this month. Pretty sad huh?
After the green water battle.
Moving into a time where things are actually growing!
Trying out cool new stuff, like riccia.
Turning into a real planted tank! Yahoo!
Deciding the tank actually looks good enough to merit a stand, and being moved into the family room!
A brief and wholly unsuccessful try at A. madagascariensis
One of my many buddies that were taken out by a big a** shrimp. Different thread on that...
A brief and wholly unsuccessful try at R. wallichii. The fish loved it!
The tank today. Now that it's mature enough to be 'scaped, I'm not doing it hard-core as it is really now tank to hold specimens I want to move to a new, larger tank. The A. reineckii is too tall, but I want to grow it out. The background is a bit bare in the middle as is the transitional area in the midground under the Java fern. I stuck a few stems of Cabomba and a bit of Ludwigia repens in there to cover the gap left by some E. stellata I just had to rip out. Marcel sent it to me about a month ago, and my fish immediately took to ripping it to shreds. Every day's an adventure!
And it's about as crowded in my stand as it can get. There's a shelf of electronics (timers, x10 controller, power strips) above what the picture shows. Couldn't fit that in the pic. To the left the peristaltic dosing pump is just visible. Also hiding in the background is the PVC DIY diffuser behind the Ecco. And the DIY in-line pH probe holder is hiding behind the Hydor heater. The in-line temp probe is completely invisible. Water flows out the tank through a glass lily (from IUnknown!), goes though an in-line temp probe, to the in-line pH probe, to the Eheim Ecco, to the turbo twist UV, to the DIY CO2 diffuser, to the Hydor heater, to the white in-line PVC fert injector (fed from the pump) and finally back to the tank, back out a lily pipe.
Like I said. Crowded - barely room for fish food!
I've done what I could to create something that will look nice in the family room. Hopefully alive, growing, and attractive.
As you can see, there's room for something bigger behind the couch where my 20g is. And I'm building that now. With your help. Even though the first tank is still a work in progress, and I've got sooooo much more to learn. But what is there, I could not have done at all without your help.
Thanks again! It's been a great year!