54g Bow Front Journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-08-2014, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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54g Bow Front Journal

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:
Java Fern
Dwarf Sag
Penny wort
Moss Balls
Dwarf Lilly
Banana Plant
Anubias Nana
Anubias Hastifolia (I think it's Hastifolia)
Radican Sword
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!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 04:05 PM
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Your tank is looking really nice! Keep up the picture updates!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 04:49 PM
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looks good! always great to see another corner tank! They're challenging to light for sure, but personally, I absolutely LOVE how much tank you get for the space!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you both! I guess I haven't been good about keeping this journal updated!

I started dosing dry ferts a couple of weeks ago using the EI method. I'm not using pressurized CO2 but I am dosing Excel. I also changed my lights to two 6,700k bulbs. Here is an updated picture of the tank..

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
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The tank is progressing along nicely. The Wisteria and Pennywort have been growing like crazy. I was starting to see some GSA but I think I have it under control. I was also noticing what I think is brown dust algae (which I think is also called diatoms) but my Nerites have been working on it. I have also adjusted my photoperiod to 8 hours from 9 and scaled back a bit on dosing levels and that has also really seemed to help.

Ok picture time....

Here is a current tank shot...

I recently added a Crypt Wendtii and am trying to see if I can get to attach to driftwood. It seems to be doing well but it hasn't attached yet. In fact there have been a few individual pieces that I have found floating so I have put those in the substrate. Not sure how this experiment will turn out but I'm giving it more time. On a positive note it hasn't shown any signs of melting!

There are a few additions since the last time I posted. I added some really nice looking red Broadleaf Ludwigia. It's a little hidden behind the Wisteria and driftwood but hopefully it will fill in and provide some nice contrast. Here is a close up ...

I also added a piece of driftwood I recently bought. I covered it will Java Fern leaflets, all of which I got from my tank. Here is how it looked when I finished it and then in the tank....

That's all for now. Any feedback is welcome.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 05:14 AM
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Really nice looking!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-24-2014, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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Plant growth has been pretty good. The Wisteria and Pennywort have been growing like crazy. Before I took this picture I did some serious pruning of the Pennywort...there was nearly twice as much as there is in this picture.

Left side shot with my Gold Gourami hiding in her favorite spot...

Right side (sorry for the crappy composition ).....

The Crypt is doing well in the substrate (no melting despite all the moving around)...

And the award for best come back goes to the Dwarf Lily! I thought it was done for sure when all the stems fell off and it was just a bare bulb. I was close to throwing it out when I noticed the tiniest little stem poking through. The growth has exploded in the past few weeks.

I'm still dealing with some algae issues. Mainly GSA on a couple of the Anubias and diatoms on the Pennywort leaves closest to the surface. Nothing too terrible all things considered. I'm considering reducing the photo period from 8 hours to 7 to see if that makes a difference. Any suggestions would be welcome.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-24-2014, 04:04 AM
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Really nice looking tank. I like how the wood, rock and plants all go together. Nice job.
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