When I first tossed around the idea of getting back into fish keeping, I told myself that I wouldn't go overboard. I work at a fish store, so I have a million tanks to take care of already. And on top of that, I never had luck with plants, so I figured I'd just stick with artificial so I don't have to worry about anything...
...and then I stumbled upon this forum...
This will be a little "blog" about the transformation of my tank over a few weeks. So here it goes... I lurked for weeks and weeks to see what knowledge was being shared and to get an idea of how hard it was going to be if I decided to put a live plant or two in my tank. It didn't seem to be too
difficult. I thought to myself, "Hmmm... there is such a thing as 'low tech'? I don't really need to do a whole lot to it... okay... Let's try this."
I picked up a clearance-priced used 15 gallon set up from our store and got to work on it. I thought I'd add a little anacharis and some decorations and call it good. But here's what I started with:
Pretty gross. I was not digging the set up. So I picked up a few plants and took out some of the gaudy fake ones. I was a little
bit happier with it. I knew already that Java fern, jungle val and anacharis were my best bet if I was starting the planted end of the hobby. Here's that:
a little movement in the tank! I added 3 black neons and three diamond tetras. Within a few days, I realized that this was not going to work. The diamonds were getting to the food before my neons even realized that it hit the water. I think they were killing my ghost shrimp too. I was down to just two of my original five.
Time for a hardscape change. I was still not really liking what I saw. But this made it more appealing to look at.
Then the bulb burnt out and I picked up a new 8watt T5 Aqua-glo bulb. I really wasn't happy with what it looked like over the tank. So I thought I'd devote an afternoon to figure out what I really liked and wanted to do. I went out driftwood hunting and found a neat piece. So I boiled several pots of hot water and poured it over it to kill all the "stuff" that may be living on it. I removed the diamonds and put them in my 29. In their place I added three more black neons, two Julii cories, three amanos and my girlfriend insisted that my black neons were too boring so I let her pick out three male black jade head guppies in.
I decided to use a painter's lamp/clamp light and a 100watt CFL bulb to give a bit more light to it. The light sits about 6-8" above the surface of the water and seems to brighten things up a bit. After several days of my newly found driftwood being in the tank, I noticed the tannins making the tank look aged and stained. I think it looks really nice! Here's the final project and how I may keep it for a while:
feel free to give me any comments or ideas that you may have. I don't want to make this a high maintenance tanks (as I have a 29 that I'm considering making a Co2 tank) and would rather keep it simple.
Thank you all for being helpful and taking the time to share knowledge with others. This is truly an enjoyable group to be a part of!