Re-doing my aquarium... Again. Wanna watch? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-15-2013, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re-doing my aquarium... Again. Wanna watch?

My current 65 gallon. The water isn't disgusting, that's tannins from the wood. Doesn't look too wonderful, does it?
Java Fern
Java Moss
Flame Moss
Saggitaria (that I can't tell apart from the vals)
Random little hunk of green hair algae that's on some of the hornwort and a bit of floating root... Left in because the pencils seem to like it.

Other decor: One piece of cholla wood
Two driftwood hunks
One rock with a hole through it
One fake waterfall
Few mostly chewed-on magnolia leaves
Cow vertebra
Raccoon rib
Squirrel skeleton

Eventual fish stock:
Female betta
Peacock gudgeon
Two darters
Sulawesi goby
Spotted Headstander
Either mated pair of German blue rams or a single one if I can't find a pair
Farowella catfish of some sort. Royal, maybe, or just twig if I can't find a good one
Five bluefin notho killies
Three checkerboard chiclids (one male two females, if I can tell the difference)
15 rummynose tetras
These two big cherry shrimp and whatever babies manage to survive.
20 pencilfish, which will be a mix between Beckford's and dwarves. Ten of each, probably, which makes one big school of two different patterns and similar colors.
Either two green dragon bristlenose plecos (possibly longfin) or five mixed-variety otocinclus (including zebra ottos), it depends on which one I find first.

I may cave in and keep five glowlight tetras instead of five of the pencils... They're starting to show breeding behavior.

Getting traded away:
One sunset dwarf gourami
Five black skirt tetras, two longfin, two shortfin, one that I'm not sure about.
One neon tetra who doesn't match the glowlights he schools with
Lone unknown-type cory
Two albino glowlights whose color doesn't match the regular glows
Possibly five regular glowlights

To be done:
Add more plants. Lots more.
Add more leaves.
Remove waterfall. Anyone want the waterfall? It's pretty nice...
Add nice big stump or clump of roots in the corner where the waterfall used to be.
If I find a suitable piece of roots, a possum skeleton draped over the roots in pieces.
Roots that come down from the top - already have some.
Considering some rocks and tan or black-and-white sand around the stump/roots if I can find a really nice piece... Do you think that would look good? Like, a pool of the different sand under the roots, river rocks placed around it, moss and hornwort clambering all over the roots?
Get a small bag of black sand and sprinkle it all over stuff to add a bit more sand depth.
Possibly introduce some MTS... Don't worry, I have assassin snails to keep them under control. I'm just thinking they'd be good to stir the sand up.
Decide if I should tuck that hair algae into the roots for the pencils who like it.
Add plenty of floating plants.
Find a way to hide the friggin' heater!
Keep thermometer in easy reach.
Small bits of wood around things for the fish who'll be down there.

I plan to get a nice root-stump thing and put it in the side of the tank that has the waterfall now and put a few inches of leaves under the roots for the fish who like to play around in leaves. Plus... I hope I'll get my pencils to breed. If it happens, I've read that the stuff that grows on the leaves will feed the little fry, plus there'll be leaves and moss to let the babies hide. I'm gonna doodle up a thing on Paint to show more or less what I'm planning... It'll be messy, but it'll get my idea across.
Here we go:

It's just ideas, I'm not planning to follow this exactly.

Been collecting stuff for my tank. There's a few nice roots in here and some wood hunks I like... Oh, that red spot you can kinda see on the thicker root piece? Concentrated food coloring, not paint or blood. I figure I'm just gonna rinse it for a while, maybe boil it, and that should get enough of the dye out that it won't stain the water any more than the tannins already will. I know some of those leaves are too fresh... I've just been picking up nice leaves outside and I'm going to let them dry for quite a while. I wanted to make sure I could get some nice leaves before they get all stepped on and soggy.
It is now officially FRIGGIN' COLD! Tomorrow's high is 35F. THIRTY-FIVE FRIGGIN' DEGREES. Which is incredibly cold for early December in Texas. I'm not gonna go outside, probably.

Our kitten sleeping with the fishes. She likes going up there and staring at the fish, trying to bat them through the glass lid. I've also caught her playing with the black skirts through the glass and attempting to bite the goby when he comes up and just sticks there. I swear he's taunting her.

Found this in a local lake... It's part of a fish skull. The curved bit at one end is where the mouth would be and the prong on the other end shows that it's the end attached to the neck. That thing is MASSIVE. Eight inches long, easily, and that's just the head! I think it's a catfish of some sort, maybe blue or channel.
It's not going in the tank, I don't think, just wanted to chuck it out there.

Last edited by Betta132; 12-15-2013 at 02:27 AM. Reason: Adding things
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-19-2013, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Here's my revised plan. I got a whole bunch of great branches from a spot near a river, and one of the good things is that nobody sprays pesticides anywhere near there.

Here are the sticks. I took this when I was tired and hot from hauling them back, so it's a bit blurry.

I didn't have a big enough bucket to soak the sticks and I figure somebody's probably going to need the bathtub between now and December 27th, so I put most of the sticks in my tank to let them soak so they won't float. I can't take a picture because the lights are off now, but the top half of the tank is mostly just sticks and leaves. My female betta likes it, and the rest look like they aren't sure what they think, but the general consensus seems to be that it's good.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Wow... Forgot to update this.
Well, everything looks like tea. Tannins are kind of out of control.
I bought four little baby checkerboard chichlids yesterday, and I'm hoping I can establish a little colony. I also managed to get two female bluefin killies to go with my two males. Yes, I know the numbers aren't ideal, but there's loads of space and hiding places, so I think it'll be okay until I can get a few more females.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 07:21 PM
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That's a big list of things to do! Can't wait to see how it unfolds! Good luck.
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