First time poster here. I am relatively new to both fish keeping and planted tanks! Anyhow my tank has been up and running for a little over four months now and I'm pretty happy with it so far. I am trying to go for a natural look with all live plants. It is still a work in progress so I would love to get some constructive criticism from anyone willing to give it.
So first the tank itself - it's a 54 Gallon corner tank measuring 39" x 27 1/4" x 23". A bow front wouldn't have been my first choice but I basically got it for free as it was a tank my father had that wasn't being used. So I learned to love it!
I am running a Fluval 406 for filtration and lighting is a T5 HO with two 10k daylight bulbs. I am currently running the lights for 8 hours.
One of the first things I decided was that along with fish I would keep live plants. I had no idea what a hardscape or aquascape was until I started looking at pictures and trying to get some inspiration. So I went out and bought some Malaysian driftwood and an assortment of rocks and here is what could be considered my first hardscape:
That's a cell phone pic so I apologize for the quality and glare. One thing I didn't take a picture of was the step before when I added my Seachem Flourite gravel. The instructions recommended a rinse to remove any residual dust....which I did. Talk about an understatement!! LOL Anyone who has used the stuff knows what I'm talking about! By the time I filled the tank half way it looked as if I was using mud! I was so disheartened because I had so been looking forward to getting the tank going. Anyhow I removed the gravel, cleaned the tank, re-rinsed the gravel with a bucket and garden hose and finally set-up the tank which is the pic above.
After getting the tank cycled I slowly stocked it with fish and started adding plants. I also added to the rock wall in the back.
A couple of weeks later with some additional plants:
I then added another piece of driftwood (left side when facing tank) and of course more plants
I would consider this next version to be the biggest change so far and somewhat eye opening in the way that seemingly small changes can make a huge difference.
So the biggest changes were removing the red lava rock and replacing the white rock on the right with more lace rock. While I love those rocks I am going for a natural look so having them there with the lace rock just didn't work.
And here is the last and most up to date pic. The key changes here are the additions of the Anubias Nana in the foreground and at the top of the rock wall. I also shifted the smaller driftwood to the right which opened up a pathway to the back of the tank.
Of course I don't feel like it's done yet (will I ever???). I think the one thing that has surprised me more than anything is that I am enjoying aquascaping just as much as I enjoy the fish. I love going to the LFS and seeing what new plants have arrived.
My current plant list:
Anubias Hastifolia (I think it's Hastifolia)
Broad Leaf Ludwigia
As I mentioned earlier I used Seachem Flourite under my gravel and I use Flourish 1-2x per week. I'm not using CO2 or any macro ferts. However I am considering dosing Excel and using dry ferts utilizing the EI method.
Anyway I will continue posting updates as I make changes. I welcome any feedback/criticism. Thx for letting me share....and sorry for the long post....I promise to keep future ones short and sweet!