First (and second) planted tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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First (and second) planted tanks

Hello TPT community! Firstly, thanks everyone for sharing their knowledge and experience on this forum. It's been a main source of information as I've begun to learn about keeping freshwater plants and fish.

to I'm new to the hobby, and have certainly been bitten hard by the bug. A few months a go my girlfriend got a 5 gallon betta tank, and I really enjoyed watching the little guy swim around. I did a google image search for "cool fish tanks" and was completely blown away by the amazing miniature landscapes that I saw. I dove into a ton of research, and a few weeks later purchased our first planted tank:

8-Weeks since planted

29-Gallon (courtesy of the Petco $1 per gallon sale)
Particle-board stand from Petco
Approx 14L ADA Aquasoil Amazonia
Approx 1.5L ADA Aquasoil Amazonia Powder (where the HC is planted)
Eheim Ecco Pro 80 Canister Filter
30" Finnex 24/7 Planted + LED (Love the 24/7 Mode)
200W Heater
GLA Atomic V3 System w/ 5lb CO2 Cylinder and Atomic Diffusor
Ferts: PPS-Pro via GLA

HC: 4 pots @ 8 weeks old, 4 pots @ 1 week old
Christmas Moss: x2 pieces
Repens: x8 bunches
Not sure what the bkg stem plants are (2 varieties) x 6 bunches

5x Cardinal Tetra
7x Oto
8x Amano Shrimp
10x Cherry Red Shrimp
4x Crystal Red Shrimp
2x Crystal Black Shrimp

The background is a piece of diffusion paper (used for modifying light on film sets) taped to the back glass of the aquarium. There's an RGBW LED strip on the stand behind the tank to give the blue gradient effect, which also slightly backlights the fish/plants. It can be changed via remote to any color.

The hardscape was inspired by my Girlfriend's musings about having disney themed tanks (pride rock from The Lion King, a Rapunzel Tower like in Tangled, etc.). I found these pieces of driftwood in a LFS that looked like a cave, a few mountains peaks, and a little jagged lookout (that the shrimp and otos love to hang out on). I also wanted a little tree on the hill over the cave.

I'm not 100% satisfied with the layout, particularly the jagged piece of driftwood in the center. I like it enough to leave it alone and let everything mature/grow in though. That's what multiple tanks are for.

I'm happy with all of the gear except the GLA stuff. The solenoid wasn't working properly when I got it from them (it was a problem with the unit), and their customer service was dismissive, defensive, and patronizing at all steps of the way. In the end I fixed it myself. I really regret purchasing anything from them, and would advise anyone looking for a complete CO2 setup to look elsewhere.

After cycling and adding fish to the tank, we decided to upgrade the little Betta tank (filled with cheap plastic decorations) to a 10 gallon planted setup (I'll do a separate post for that one), and at the same time purchased this sweet Mr. Aqua 60p rimless:

3 Days since planted

Mr. Aqua 17.1 Gallon Rimless
Sitting on a dresser
9L ADA Aquasoil Amazonia
3L Large-Grain Sand
Eheim Ecco Pro 60 Canister Filter
24" Coralife Dual T5 Fixture (Soon to be a 24" Finnex 24/7)
Background lighting as in first tank
Not planning on adding any CO2

Christmas Moss: 4x Pieces
Java Fern: 2 varieties, 4x each
Red Rubin: 2x
I still want to add some Petite Anubias and more moss.

Open for suggestions on what fauna will go in this tank. We want some blue shrimp, and will definitely have a couple of mystery snails and ottos, but other than that it's up in the air.

I'll try to post periodic updates to these tanks, as well as some more photos/video. Let me know if you have any comments/criticism/questions!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 05:47 PM
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I think you're scaping really well for a newbie. I really like the right side of your big tank, the Disney theme made me giggle but yeah, that right side is definitely Rapunzel's tower.

As for livestock suggestion for the second tank - might I suggest Endler's livebearers. Fun and pretty fish. They're small enough that I would expect they'd play nice with the shrimp. Just make sure that the shrimp go in first and that there's lots of hiding places for babies.

Daisy Mae V
According to my husband, I have a habit of jumping right in!
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 05:55 PM
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beautiful tanks! great job I love the backlighting too

my 8 gallon journal:
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my 35 gallon journal:
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