My first attempt at a planted tank. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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My first attempt at a planted tank.

Hello All.

I'm totally new to this game and still trying to get my head round it. Having kept Malawi Cichlids for years I recently decided it was time for a change and so three months later here is my first attempt. Any comments or ideas, especially suggestions for something to fill the space in the background would be gratefully received.

Thanks, Al



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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 12:12 PM
 
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I think this tank looks lovely
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 01:21 PM
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Rotala rotundifiola is a really easy plant that grows quickly and would fill up your background with a pink that would pop against those lime green hygros. Great job on the hygro btw, it looks great.

The moss tied to your driftwood looks like it's dying though. What's going on there?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the compliments.

You are right, the moss on the upright piece of driftwood (picture needs rotating) did die off.

I had problem with staghorn and BBA and that was the worst affected area. When the tank was half empty whilst doing a water change I dosed that piece directly with neat easy-carbo, which killed the algae but unfortunately the moss as well. It is on its way back now though.

As I say, I am a total novice so I suppose I will have to make some mistakes in order to learn.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 01:59 PM
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Great looking tank. Wish mine looked as good! I really like the light green in the middle with darker greens on the sides.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 03:28 PM
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Rotala rotundifolia is definitely a nice plant. Its growing great in my low-tech 29 with 40W of T8 light.

The moss balls look out of place to me, but overall the tank is excellent.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 04:33 PM
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The tank is pretty good as is, but I agree that the moss balls do not gel. But then I never felt marimo balls fit in visually in any planted tank. They look to loose and out of place. But that's just me

Patience is the name of the game.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your comments guys.

You know what, I agree about the moss balls. I've never been happy about the way they look.

I got them on the advice of my LFS who claimed that as they are a type of algae they would out-compete other algaes. Having now had to contend with all sorts of algaes, including BBA on the moss balls themselves, I suspect this was just the salesmans way of getting me to part with some cash.

They will be binned tomorrow !
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 07:44 PM
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They are worth a lot of money to some people> Try giving them away in swap n shop. I don't see the big deal about them being a ball. I would rather spread them out and grow them on a piece of driftwood.

They really are a type of algae... Ironically, some people are like "argh there is cladophora algae growing all over my tank!" And then they buy a "moss" ball later... Although they probably don't out compete algae, Hornwort does. It releases chemicals that combat algae! I got some wednesday this week and it already is covered in new side shoots. However I have not noted any less algae yet.



Your tank is way better than mine! :O I have been in the hobbeh for 3 years (well, serious about it anyhow) And I have been interested in planted for like 1 year... I only started actually growing anything in april when I upgraded the lights.

My tank sucks now

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice Seds, as for swapping the marimo balls I only paid 1 each for them including shipping (from a girl on ebay not the LFS that suggested them) so I'm not too bothered about the cost really.

A thought has just occurred to me though. If I was to open them out flat could I tie them around my filter inlet/outlet pipes to disguise them? will they survive flattened out like that? I hate the look of equipment in the tank and would like to make everything look totally natural.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 08:22 PM
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For a first attempt, you did an excellent job.
I'm not a fan of the Moss Balls, either. However, one placed inconspicuously on the left would not look too out of place, I don't think.
As for a background plant, I don't think you'd need one. The open space accentuates the forward-pointing nature of the left-hand driftwood piece and I feel that background foliage might dilute this effect. As is, you have a nice V-shape going and rather than add plants, simply focus on the fine-tuning (i.e. manicuring) of the plants you currently have. If you put anything, just some stems placed sparingly in the far back left and right corners to provoke the image that the tank is wider than it really is.
Good job!
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 09:02 PM
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Even if you do chose to get a background plant, your Ambulia would make a great one. It is fairly sparse right now in the right side but you could pack them together to make it look... dense.

It is such a strange looking plant. Looks more normal in low light, but less exotic...

My tank sucks now

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 01:40 AM
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Great tank. Before throwing out the moss balls, why don't you try ripping them out and tying them to the driftwood? It gives your driftwood an aged and soft look. I tried it on a piece of driftwood I have and I'm very happy with the results.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 01:46 AM
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Not a fan of hte limonophila sessiflora even if it looks good ( i just inherently hate the plant now ), but um yeah i reccomend you trim it before your surface is gone.
Tank looks good moss balls placed too closely togehter.


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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 02:49 AM
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Nice tank. I agree with FrostyNYC and FSM with the rotala rotundifolia, its fast growing and easy plant and it will cover those empty spots in the back. Hey Im just wondering how big is this tank?


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