DONT BOTHER STARTING TO READ FROM THE START, THE FIRST TANK IS YONKS OLD, MY NEW TANK STARTS ON PAGE 2, AND OBVS MY LATEST RE-SCAPE IS AT THE END OF PAGE 3.
IF YOU'RE READING THIS FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE FIRST PAGE/PICS ARE A PHOTO JOURNAL FOR MY ORIGIONAL TANK (23 Gallon), THEN I HAD A TANK CHANGE (PAGE 2) SO I DECIDED TO CONTINUE THIS THREAD RATHER THAN START A NEW ONE.
Right, after a lot of reading of various sites I've decided to take the plunge and try and get something resembling a planted tank up and running.
I actually started this tank a fair while ago now, but never posted any pictures, I've got some stored on my PC from the origional set up, and I also took some the other weekend (6 months'ish later) to see how things had progressed.
There has been ups and downs so far, unfortunately more downs, but what doesn't kill ya makes you stronger ... or so they say.
So, this is what I've got:
23 Gallon / 90 Ltr
30"x15"x12 (length x height x width)
2 x 18w 600mm Grolux tubes - I want to get something more powerfull eventually, but this'll have to do for the moment. (even though I've only got 1 at the moment, I'm still waiting for the other to be delivered)
Nutrafin Co2 natural plant system
Fluval Internal 4
1 bag of Eco Complete and 'some' small 1.5~2mm aquarium gravel
Bits and bobs:
3 or 4 various sized bogwood, some river pebbles
So, lets kick things off with a very boring pic of my tank
Then I whacked in my Eco-substrate
....... and realised that I needed more, so I thought I'd try something different. This is when I started getting my 'big ideas' ... and funnly enough this is where things started to go wrong
I thought that as I'd got some of my previous aquarium gravel I'll try and make it look different by laying this layer of gravel over the top of the substrate. Something different y'know.
I started to get some of my bits in (excuse the rubbish photo), in the photo below it's only the bogwood, and this is where the problems started !!
Then it came to the time that I had to start planting
I had all my plants layed out on the table, a very clear planting plan in my head, a bit of time to myself, and some chilled out music coming from my stereo.
1st set of plants in - Ehhhh what's this, they're not going down deep enough. Why's that then? What's goin on? Oh bugger it's that damn mesh that I used to seperate the layers, it's not letting me plant my plants deep enough to get 'into' my Eco-Substrate so really the planting depth that I'm looking at is only as deep as the gravel layer that I've used on top. Damn, why did I spend cash on the Eco-Substrate if I can't acually plant anything in it. Hmmmmmmmmm
What now, here's the plan .... cut a small hole out from the mesh and plant my stem plants through the hole. Easyer said than done that is !! Cut a hole, remove cutting object, hole instantly fills back up again with gravel. Try this a couple of times, same thing happens.
Blood boiling, getting suitably annoyed, so off outside for a smoke to chill out and try and think.
Come back in, and stand around for about 5 minutes still none the wiser. Quick time check, damn the Mrs will be home from work soon, nothing done 'in the house' since she left this morning. No dinner on the go, back room completely re-arranged so that I had sufficient space to do my tank and not have to negotiate a safe passage around the arm chair every time I need to get something.
Ding-Dong the door bell goes, only my Sister, her 2 year old, and her 4 year old, popped in to see uncle. Just what I needed. 2 Kids moving everything. 'What are you doing' 'Why are you doing that' 'What's this for' 'Can I put some stones in'. OI !! all those plants that are now on the floor, yes the ones that you're currently standing on
, do you want to get off them"
My sister knowing me as she does could see that this was kinda an inappropriate time and I was about to blow my lid decided not to stay very long (yes I do feel really bad about it now)
<chilled out for another 10 mins>
1 more attempt to plant my plants, with the same outcome
<instantly raging - I've really got to sort that temper of mine out>
Decided to 'quickly remove (ie rip out)' the mesh and just get the plants in, and fill it with water, and leave it at that.
OH MY GOD !! Now this just looks totally awfull - I HATE IT !! (see pic below of mish-mash substrate)
Had to leave it though, Mrs was coming home soon and I had to re-build the house and look as if I'd not spend all day making a massive mess.
She comes home "Hmmmm, what have you done there, suppose it looks, ermm kinda ok". Probably not the best thing to say after the day I'd just had.
Did some serious thinking about what I was going to do. Came up with a couple of ideas (one of them being bin the lot and start again) but decided to re-scape with some freshly ordered forground plants to hide the mish mash.
I thought that it's really only the top and front that you can see so I tried pulling the substrate away from the front with a ruler and filling up behind it, and then putting a layer of gravel on top. Kinda Christmas cake 'ish. Nice on the outside with loads of random stuff in the middle.
So I've left it at that. Planted my plants, got some Java ferns on my bog wood. And this is how it started. In the morning the water was crystal again, but I didn't have time to photograph it.
It's still a little 'dim' but I'm still waiting for that other bulb to be delivered.
Full tank shot:
Left hand side:
Right hand side:
So there it was, my first steps into the planted tank world. I wasn't all that happy with it to start with, but over time its fill out and started to resemble somthing that I want.
So .......... onto the latest set of pictures and and things have actually changed :good: Not only are there less fish, but there's more algae !!
so I must be doing something right hey :unsure:
I've lost quite a few of my origional plants, I just can't seem to stop them dying, but I had this one plant in the rear corner (can't remember the name off the top of my head at the moment) which has now since vanished BUT it was sending runners out all over the place and now they have taken over the bottom of my tank and produced the carpet effect that I was origionally wanting to achieve. The plants at the rear right of the tank are still alive, and I didn't really think they were growing all that much, but looking back at the origional pictures they have filled out a bit. I've also got hold of some Java Moss and that's going really well on the pieces of bog wood within the tank. I'm having to pull off great big clumps pretty regularly to stop it taking over. I do however find that it is prone to filling up with algae, as well as the 'carpet' but within 15 mins of rummaging around seems to take care of it for the next couple of months.
I've given up on CO2, but I think that I may get it back up and running again and see what the effects are.
I've still got some of my origional fish, so at the moment my tank consists of 7 Red Platties, 12 Neon Tetras, and 5 Zebra Dino's. They all seem to be getting on really well at the moment which is always a bonus.
So, here are some piccies:
This is a 'whole' picture of the tank. Couldn't get the fish to stay still so they are a little blurry
This is the closer picture of the left hand side of the tank. Showing the java moss (after a haircut) and the carpet plants that I was origionally wanting. The stem plant at the back is that plant that's classed as a 'weed'. I somehow still manage to kill it though (well it's starting to thin out anyway)
This is the right hand side of the tank. See .... the plants have filled out from the origional pictures, and I've not managed to kill them in over a year!
and the next two are just a couple of randoms:
I must admit myself .... the whole tank could do with a bit of a spring clean, but I think that I'll be investing in a couple of otto's in the very near future as they'll have plenty to munch on.
Anyway, thanks for looking. Comments / Criticism welcome
From what you can see, what have I done wrong.
THANKS FOR READING
and please be gental.