Ember's Dream - A 50 gal journey - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-08-2013, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Ember's Dream - A 50 gal journey

I've been out of the hobby for a couple years due to moving and having an extreme work schedule. Things have finally slowed down and I got the itch to setup another planted tank. I had a 50 gal tank taking up space in a corner so I decided to put it to use. The biggest challenge to me is the 12" depth. Just about every tank I've had in the past had more depth so this is going to take some trial and error to get the scape to a point I'm happy with.
Here's the specs-
50 gal tank
Catalina T5HO lights - 2 6500K bulbs 8 hrs, 3rd bulb Midday Sun 6000K 3 hr noon burst
Rena Filstar XP2
Pressurized CO2 with inline CalAqua diffuser
Mineralized soil capped with pool filter sand

Flora-
Crypt wendtii 'Green Gecko'
Crypt parva
Crypt nurii
Crypt pygmaeus
Cyperus helferi
Hygro kompact
HC
Pogostemon helferi
Blyxa japonica
Staurogyne repens
Pogostemon erectus
Ludwigia inclinata var. verticillata 'Cuba'
Rotala indica
Lindernia rotundifolia 'Variegated'
Limnophila repens 'mini'
Penthorum sedoides
Pogostemon yatabeanus
Hygrophila pinnatifida
Linmophila aromatica
Didiplis diandra
Bacopa sp. 'Japan'
Myriophyllum mattogrossense
Nesaea triflora
Rotala wallichii
Needle leaf fern
Windelov fern

Fauna-
20 Ember tetras
4 Pygmy cories (LFS sold out, plan on adding more soon)
5 Otos

I'll get a picture timeline up later when I get home from work.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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I apologize for the pics. These were all taken with my cell phone.

The inital setup 3/16/13


One month later 4/17/13
Added a ton of plants. Pretty nasty algae bloom at this point, took a while to clear up.


The most recent pic - 5/21/13
Algae is pretty much gone. Plants are a pretty thick.


I wasn't completely satisfied with the plant layout, so I pulled everything last weekend and rearranged the plants for a (hopefully) better scape.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 02:08 AM
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nice tank! how many watt of light do you have? how do you get rip off the algae bloom?
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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I use a total of 3 80W T5HO bulbs (2 - 8 hrs, 1 - 3 hr noon burst). My fixture has a total of 4 bulbs, but I leave 1 empty. (80W is a 5 ft fixture, it's what I had laying around rather than buying a new fixture for this 4 ft tank)

The algae bloom took a while to get rid of. I changed most of the water every other day for about 2 weeks. During this time I never added ferts. Once the bloom was over, I started adding about 1/2 the recommended EI ferts once a week. As the plant mass increased, I started dosing the 1/2 rate twice a week.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 07:13 PM
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Beautiful! Wish i could see this in person to really appreciate those embers, they are one beautiful little fish. Thats amazing growth for just 2 months, what a transformation. So when do we get a look at the new scape
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 07:18 PM
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Excellent planting in there!
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Beautiful! Wish i could see this in person to really appreciate those embers, they are one beautiful little fish. Thats amazing growth for just 2 months, what a transformation. So when do we get a look at the new scape
Thank you, the embers are really neat fish. I love the color contrast against the plants. They have really settled into the tank and don't stay a tight group anymore unless it's feeding time. I'm getting ready to add more pygmy cories and I'm thinking real hard about getting sparkling gouramis as well.

As far as the new scape, you'll have to wait a little while for the plants to grow and fill in again. Right now it looks a little bare compared to the last pic. I can say this much, Blyxa LOVES soil. Those bushes were HUGE when I pulled them. 8 little stems went in originally and I'll bet I pulled over 50 out after just 2 months.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 09:24 PM
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Sparkling gouramis are great fish, never owned them but they are beautiful. You know another thought, if you've never had them, is the scarlet badis (Dario dario). They are very small but have amazing colors and a heck of a personality to boot. One of my favorite fish and they would be right at home in your tank and would have no problems with the gouramis either.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Here's 1 last pic of the last rescape. Never really liked this one and I was constantly battling cloudy green water. I ran my diatom filter a couple times before I took this pic.

FTS 7/22/13


Close up of the NLJF - the base of this thing is about as wide as my fist.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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I did a total tear down on 7/28. I painted the back of the tank black and took out all the soil. For the underlayer base, I'm using nothing but gro soil tabs from Riparium Supply covered with about 2" of sand. I took out a lot of the rocks and the old wood. New wood went in. I also took out about half the plant species.
Ammonia is about 0.5 so no fish for now, they're holding in my QT until this is back to 0.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-04-2013, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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This recent scape is using the gro soil tabs from Riparium Supply. I pushed some into the sand on the last scape and was impressed by the plant response, so I wanted to try doing the entire tank with them. I still plan on using minimal ferts in the water to feed the ferns and buces.

On to the pictures-
FTS 080313 - buce to (hopefully) fill/cover the brances


Left side - P helferi, Bacopa sp. Japan, L aromatica


Middle - C parva, C pygmaeus, C nurii, C green gecko NLJF, H pinnatifida


Right - S repens, B japonica, P yatabeanus, L arcuata, L repens mini, C helferi


The wood is centered a little more than I would like. I tried using the rule of thirds, measured and put tape on the glass as a guide, but then I ended up placing most of the wood to the right of the tape instead of left. Oh well.
The C parva was my biggest surprise. I originally had 6-7 small pieces and after separating and planting, my count was 20 pieces. That's a lot of growth since March for a plant like this.

Last edited by cah925; 08-04-2013 at 02:57 PM. Reason: fixed photo links
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-04-2013, 03:17 PM
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i like this a lot, the only thing id change is to add a piece of wood that comes from the front left to the focal point like you have on the right side...


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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Picked up 12 more Cory habrosus to go with the 6 I already have. They will be in my QT tank for a few days just to be safe.
The new cories are really small as seen in this pic. These 2 cories nose to nose in the middle are the same size as the oto behind them.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Here's a quick video of the new C habrosus schooling this morning. They tend to stick together as a group most of the time. They look like tiny tetras as they dart back and forth.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 07:28 PM
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They are having a blast in your tank! I could watch them for hours on end!

Stephanie - RAOK Club #130

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