27g - first planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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27g - first planted tank

It's time to become fully indoctrinated in the world of planted tanks, with my first tank journal! The pictures are always my favorite part, so here is the latest:

Progression photos (respectively: 3/7/14, 3/10/14):


The tank is still cycling and I'm ever so slowly getting it set up. I have some additional dwarf hair grass planned to partially encircle the driftwood and come up about 3/4 of the way across the substrate. It has been so relaxing to plant these and take my time with each plantlet.

Tank data:
  • 27 gallon cube
  • Eco-complete substrate
  • Fluval 305 canister filter

Plants:
  • Cyperus Helferi
  • Dwarf hairgrass
  • Nymphoides 'Taiwan'
  • Hygrophila?

Intended Fauna:
  • Threadfin rainbows
  • ember tetras
  • corydora pygmaeus
  • corydora hastasus or hasbrosus
  • cherry shrimp!

Last edited by CherryRed; 03-11-2014 at 05:11 AM. Reason: Corrected plant names
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
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Right now I am calling it The Bacteria Farm, lol. That's all that lives there.

The tank is in the corner of our living room where the front is fully visible and the left-hand side is half visible from anywhere in the room, or you can bend past the entertainment center to see it fully.

Full tank shot (3/7/14):


I have a prime view from my designated spot on the couch (strategically picked for maximum fish tank viewing!).

A little closer (3/7/14):


The driftwood is two separate pieces that I had individually in my bettas tank at different times. When I first plopped the Eco-Complete in, the water was so muddy I could not see an inch in so I just gently (and blindly) placed the two pieces of driftwood in the tank for the bacteria. I would have never thought to stack them together but I think it looks great. I shifted the pieces a bit just to ensure stability, but I think they look like they were meant to be placed like this.

Front view (3/7/14):


Side view (3/7/14):


There is a small window right above the tank. During the brightest point of the day a few inches of sunlight dance across the substrate. It only hits the tank for an hour or two so hopefully will not cause too much algae. (3/7/14)


The random filter media is for my new Edge that my husband gave me for my birthday (best husband ever!). And the reflection in that photo is my littlest helper (LOL that he coordinates with the tank color scheme). Luckily, the light from the picture window does not reach into the tank's corner at all. Enjoying a bit of sun:

Last edited by CherryRed; 03-11-2014 at 04:12 AM. Reason: Adding content
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 04:15 AM
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i like the scape! the tank and stand are nice too!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 04:19 AM
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Never would have guessed that this was your first planted tank. Looks like you're off to a great start!

240g planted discus tank
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randpost View Post
i like the scape! the tank and stand are nice too!
Thank you so much! I am really enjoying putting it together
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saverio View Post
Never would have guessed that this was your first planted tank. Looks like you're off to a great start!
Thank you! That makes me feel great! I was a little nervous posting amongst the experts but I want to learn and become better! I really appreciate the compliment.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 05:03 AM Thread Starter
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I am seeing some growth in the Nymphoides 'Taiwan', which is such a beautiful plant. This came as a bonus to a ball of flame moss that I purchased, and I am so glad it was sent! I'll have to dig up a picture of when it first arrived.

I didn't know what to do with any of the extra plants so I just plopped them all in my betta's Chi when I first received them.

The large bottom leaf slowly turned clear after I received the plant, I think it was because it had gotten pretty crimped during shipping (it was huge so I don't think there was anyway around it, this plant seems very delicate), but the two smallest leaves, over the course of 3 days, are now as large and tall as all the others.

3/6/14:


3/10/14:


Silly betta:


There has also been some progress on the Hygrophila(?) and it looks like it's reddening a bit which is very pretty!

3/6/14 (back left):


3/10/14:


I am a little concerned for my cyperus helferi as I have read that it prefers high-tech tanks and mine is definitely low tech. The dwarf hair grass seems to be doing well, I'll need to start sticking a ruler in the substrate for photos to measure progress.

Edited to add an additional note on the plant growth. I had picked up a package of Flourish root tabs at a PetSmart sale so when I received my bonus plants I figured "why not" and put them under the plants in the Tahitian Moon Sand that is in my betta's Chi. They seemed to respond well (again, I need to find the initial pictures for comparison). Now that they are in the 27 gallon Bacteria Farm, they do not have root tabs, only what the Eco-Complete substrate is providing out of the bag. I am noticing a color difference and the growth seems quicker. I assume it's the substrate although I suppose there are other factors to be considered. Just wanted to track this as I set up more tanks and decide what substrate to use.

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Last edited by CherryRed; 03-11-2014 at 05:17 AM. Reason: Substrate observation
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-13-2014, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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I have been watching the leaves of two of my cyperus Helferi slowly yellow from the tip down and the very tip go brown. I found a great resource (at least for someone new to all of this!) and I believe it is the beginning stages of nitrogen deficiency.

http://www.aquariumslife.com/aquasca...ts-deficiency/

So now I have doses of Nitrogen, Phosporous, and Potassium on order from Amazon. They'll be here Saturday and I am excited to try them!

No fish just yet as my LFS of choice is closed the first part of the week (if you're in Eastern Washington or North Idaho check out Aquarium Solutions in the Valley). She gets shipments Friday so now I am just considering if I should go tomorrow and pick up fish that have had a week to settle in and be watched by an expert, or if I should go first thing Friday and pick up my fish of choice before they even hit the tank. In the end I am sure excitement will drive my decision and I'll pick it up tomorrow as long as there is time after work. I can't wait!

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Where does the time go? I can't believe it has been over 8 months since I updated. I read through new posts almost daily but had forgotten that I even started a tank journal

My tank has grown out so much. In that regard, I almost can't believe it has been less than a yer, I was sure I was coming up on 2 years, yikes!

One of the best parts of the hobby has been my oldest step son also getting hooked on freshwater aquariums. He has been the recipient of multiple bags of lilies, cyperus Helferi, and the red plant I have. He also has gotten all of the filters I have rotated through, air pumps, etc. he loves it. My husband is even interested in a shrimp tank for his office! We love those little critters.

Anyway, onto the tank. It is becoming an absolute jungle which the shrimp love. The only flora additions have been some moss that escaped my breeder tank attached to the side (I had shrimp in there for awhile as I was afraid the babies were getting eaten, little did I know about the shrimpsplosion about to occur!).

Several months ago I purchased 5 hastasus cories from a local store. The owner was out giving a discus breeding speech in England so her husband was covering the store. I came home and checked my bag and ended up with 2 cories who have grown fairly large, 1 Pygmy cory, an assassin snail, and 2 of the cories I actually went in for! They have all done well. The shrimp have done beyond well, I counted 130 shrimp one morning. It is now my routine to drink my coffee while watching the tank every morning. Just a perfect way to start the day.

I want to purchase additional Pygmy and hastasus cories but have been delaying as we have had several iterations of "we are moving any minute now!" For work. Well, we will definitely be moving but I think I would like to build up my cory groups anyway. When we do move it will be about a 5 hour drive so I think they will be okay.

That has also been my hesitancy on a large rescape. I see so many beautiful tanks here get severely disrupted after a move. That, and general indecision.

Ok, that's my update. Here's pics of the Bacteria Jungle

Bump: I love the algae on the driftwood but not as much as the shrimp!
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Last edited by CherryRed; 11-20-2014 at 04:07 AM. Reason: Correcting autocorrect
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Tank data as of 11/19/14
  • 27 gallon cube
  • Eco-complete substrate
  • Replaced the Fluval with a Filstar XP, I had a really hard time opening the Fluval and finally replaced it when the Fluval sprung a 10 gallon leak

Plants:
  • Cyperus helferi
  • Dwarf hairgrass - not a good choice with Eco complete. It grew well with good roots but floats up when the Corys play in it
  • Nymphoides 'Taiwan' - I have taken our over 20 baby plants to give away! Love this
  • hygrophilia - grows beautiful roots down to the substrate, another plant that I have given tank full of cuttings from
  • miscellaneous moss x2 - a surprise in the main tank! One grows on the surface amongst the lilies, the other is firmly attached to the breeder tank (which is now a refuge for bits of plants)

Fauna:
  • corydora pygmaeus - only 1 right now want to up to 10
  • corydora hastasus - 2 buddies, want to up to 10
  • unknown cory - large hitchhikers that play all day
  • cherry shrimp! So many lovely shrimp!
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27 gallon, community tank, first time planted, freshwater, low tech tank

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