First planted tank: 46g Trials and Tribulations- a learning experience - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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First planted tank: 46g Trials and Tribulations- a learning experience

Disclaimer: My camera/picture quality is awful and does not do the colours justice.

Though not new to fish tanks or plants, this is my first planted tank. I'm playing with it, and learning how to work with aquatic plants. So far they're pretty much like terrestrial plants, imo.

Tank as of 29-2-16




Setup
-Cascade 700 canister filter (coarse & fine floss, ceramic bio rings, purigen & fine floss) w/coarse pre-filter
-Finnex Planted+ 24/7 36"
-Eheim Jager heater (kept at ~74F/23C)
-ActivFlora Floracor Black substrate
-driftwood

Flora
(?= might have... won't know for sure on some of these until they grow out a bit)
Alternanthera ficoidea (Green Hedge); emersed with roots in the tank
Blyxa japonica
Christmas moss
Crypts, unknown
Echinodorus 'Red Flame'
Eleocharis (maybe parvula)
Hydrocotyle tripartita "Japan"
Hygrophila angustifolia
?Ludwigia Arcuata
?Ludwigia glandulosa
?Ludwigia repens
?Rotala colorata
?Rotala h'ra
?Rotala macrandra
?Rotala Nanjenshan
Red Tiger Lotus
Stargrass
Staurogyne repens

Fauna
# Assorted snails
2 Black Neon Tetras
6 Black Phantom Tetras (1 long-fin)
2 Bolivian Rams, male
1 Bristlenose Pleco
3 Cherry Barbs
2 Florida Flagfish
1 Pygmy Cory
# Ramshorn snails (orange/red)
2 Rosy Tetras
2 Sparkling Gouramis, pair
3 Skunk Cories
1 Von Rio Tetra

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

When my brother upgraded his cichlid tank, I got a surprise- free tank, stand, and canopy. We get along well, so he cleaned it and everything before giving it to me (he even delivered it to my front door). Once I bought my filter, tank was filled and got it going.

Flooded and began cycling October 2015


In December, substrate, driftwood, and finally lighting were added. Shortly after that, doinkmobb announced he was moving and wanted to re-home his fish. He also gave me some plants (mostly crypts). Also added some hygro, a sword, and some green hedge growing out the top. Media from my long-running 29g was used to ensure that the tanks new inhabitants wouldn't suffer from the sudden addition. All the fish were happy and never lost colour or had pinned fins. I was very proud.


Then MantisX was offering some of his trimmings for sale, some of which I really wanted, so I bought and planted them. And that brings us up to date (14-1-16).





The rams are intensely curious and I'm enjoying them very much. When the first two stems went in, the cories all swam over and sat underneath them happily. ALL the fish are loving all the plants.

The moss is hanging out in a strainer until I can get cotton thread or glue to attach it to my driftwood- one of the gouramis found his/her way in and seems very happy surrounded by the green. Soon, they will be moved to a smaller tank along with the pygmy cory to both show them off and give them their own environment away from the 'big' fish.

I enjoy watching the fish and plants. My entire family goes over and says, "Where's the snail?!?" ...

Understanding the value of patience is only difficult while you are waiting.
- - - - -
You are angry because you are weak. It is more difficult to be kind.

Last edited by Melika; 03-01-2016 at 06:10 PM. Reason: update
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 09:03 PM
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Looks good! I particularly like the backdrop of bamboo through the window, sets the scene nicely.


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--- Mississippi map + jewel cichlid tank (65 gal)
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 02:38 AM
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Such a nice set up, I hope my tank looks as nice! How is the light treating you? It's on my to buy list

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winn View Post
Looks good! I particularly like the backdrop of bamboo through the window, sets the scene nicely.
Thank you, I couldn't bear to put a background on the tank for that reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sakanajanai View Post
Such a nice set up, I hope my tank looks as nice! How is the light treating you? It's on my to buy list.
So far I love it. I'm not some whiz that could program something like this myself- I would probably end up depriving my plants of some important spectrum or something. My favourite thing about it right now is how it brings out different colours in the plants and fish depending on the time of day. Evening really makes the reds pop!
sakanajanai and sakanajanai like this.

Understanding the value of patience is only difficult while you are waiting.
- - - - -
You are angry because you are weak. It is more difficult to be kind.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-21-2016, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Got all the plants that were going in (for now) finally in the tank. My last bit was some hairgrass from meowschwitz. Still haven't tied down my moss. All the fungus is GONE from the dritwood, overnight when I moved my bristlenose pleco into the 46g. Tore down the 29g on monday so husband can begin working on it- it is now his tank. Almost all the fish in the 29g were moved to the 46g. I've had to replant a few things here and there since the bristlenose is a very... active searcher of food. He's rougher on the plants than the cory cats, that's for sure. But he's fat and happy. Now he's begun working on the small spots of diatoms I've allowed to grow on the glass just for him. Here's a few new shots from today.



A bit of a steeper angle- the bare area around the sword will one day house anubias coffeefolia whenever it grows enough to offer some shade.



Bonus- got the 10g set up on our dining table. "Honey, the anubias can't go in my big tank, it has too much light and no shady areas. And the coffefolia will need a shady place too until my sword grows out." He loves me.
I sort of got permission to get a 5g for my desk and then the 10g would be my sick tank, but he says I have to buy new clothes first before I spend more money on fish/tanks. I think this tank will be set up for a while.

The lonely von rio tetra is happier in here and I put the last two black neons to keep him company. He seems happier. Less flow, smaller fish. More dark spaces.


Understanding the value of patience is only difficult while you are waiting.
- - - - -
You are angry because you are weak. It is more difficult to be kind.

Last edited by Melika; 01-21-2016 at 05:09 PM. Reason: added info
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-21-2016, 05:56 PM
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too funny ! :-)

The way how your BF suggest you to get some new clothes before you invest to something you passion about.

Did he should take care that ? I mean buying you new clothes? lol...

Anyhow I am not here to talk smack. Just wanna let you know you guys are great and rarely have couple fellin' the same interest of hobby.
(There's no way I can force my wife to sit in front of a glass for more then 1 min )

Back to your tank (the big one)
I think it's look GREAT !!!! You will need some more tall stem plants at the back, mid stem plant at the mid ground and let it grow.
Plant heavy! So that the plant will use up all the nutrition from the water or whatever you dose not the algre.

Good luck.
J
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Bunny View Post
The way how your BF suggest you to get some new clothes before you invest to something you passion about.

Did he should take care that ? I mean buying you new clothes? lol...

Anyhow I am not here to talk smack. Just wanna let you know you guys are great and rarely have couple fellin' the same interest of hobby.
(There's no way I can force my wife to sit in front of a glass for more then 1 min )

Back to your tank (the big one)
I think it's look GREAT !!!! You will need some more tall stem plants at the back, mid stem plant at the mid ground and let it grow.
Plant heavy! So that the plant will use up all the nutrition from the water or whatever you dose not the algre.

Good luck.
J
Heh my husband and I have few things in common, but the important stuff we do agree on. And I hate shopping. Unless it's at a pet store or tool store. I guess a wardrobe definitely needs new stuff if your husband tells you to go buy clothes???

Thank you. As the plants grow in, it will be close to your suggestions- they're just short right now. Much in there is stem plants.

Understanding the value of patience is only difficult while you are waiting.
- - - - -
You are angry because you are weak. It is more difficult to be kind.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Flagfish banned; dad's stroke; diatoms; some plants struggle

Figured out what was uprooting my hairgrass- the flagfish. So they got banned to the 10g for now until everything is rooted well.

The hairgrass is recovering. I had a lot of it die from a combo of diatoms and having to be replanted three times, but it's shooting out green now. Got my last bag of substrate finally (long story) and put that down under the grass. You can see the 'fence' I made out of bamboo skewers to keep the lotus bulb in place. Four shorter to keep it in place and two longer to keep it from hopping the fence. My bristlenose kept tumbling it all over when trying to get around and under the bulb for hidden snacks. The fence has proven effective over the last few weeks.




Had a massive diatom outbreak. I was overfeeding and the plants weren't established yet. So I just stopped feeding for almost two days to drain the nutrients and most of the diatoms went away. Some snails have now grown up and are able to help out my lonely ramshorn. Most of the plants have been able to bounce back except these two:



The one tiny little stem, what it is I don't know, never did amazingly but I think some of that was a lack of ferts. My father had a stroke followed by wrecking his truck so traveling to the hospital and back and buying them food and things cut into my tank budget. I wasn't able to buy the ferts I needed and missed a water change or two. GSA bloomed on the glass but I scraped and did a nice water change yesterday. I think the bristle nose was keeping stuffed on easy diatoms and fungus on the wood so he ignored the GSA. Have half my ferts and the rest are in the mail today. Trying out Tom Barr's no-CO2 regimen. Oh, and my father is doing well, no real lasting effects, minimal facial droop and slurring, slight weakness on left side in general. Doctors were impressed we noticed the signs they call "subtle". Altogether we have three medical professionals in the house, how could we not notice?!?!

It was naive of me to think I could keep the plants in excellent condition without ferts. I think the low camera quality helps hide how bad it actually got. I had some die off, but also have growth now. I'm optimistic.

My fish like to hang out in the back corner because so far there's more cover there. They explore the tank plenty when they can't see my phone though. Camera shy, they are.








On the plus side my christmas moss is growing like crazy! Even after taking a decent ball to put in the 10g, I have more moss than I started with. Snails are keeping it clean- the diatoms are mostly on the cup itself, which now that my snails are multiplying are beginning to clean it up. I really really really want to get some shrimp to drop in the moss. But my taking-care-of-dad-budget hamstrung me.



Oh, and my bristlenose measures in at 3 1/4". I love how small they are. He's not as destructive as I was afraid he might be- turned out the flagfish were the ones disturbing the plants.

Understanding the value of patience is only difficult while you are waiting.
- - - - -
You are angry because you are weak. It is more difficult to be kind.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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The 10g had an emergency during a Pimafix treatment for some anubias fungus/rhizome rot. All was fine until I started the filter up again after the water change- then the von rio tetra was immediately gasping, twitching, and swimming upside down. Then it just laid on the sand, only very occasionally twitching. The black neons began showing distress as well, though not as severe. The flagfish that had been banished to that tank simply became agitated. I left the filter on and did a 200% water change immediately. The von rio seemed to like the fresh water as it was pouring in but was quickly back to laying on the sand. I didn't like the colour the black neons were turning. Snails were unaffected. So as an emergency action I netted and just dumped the fish straight into the 46g. They are all fine. The von rio was swimming normally within moments. What happened? I don't know. But they're all doing well.

The biggest flagfish even trimmed my blyxa for me and ate all the leaves off my hydrocotyle tripartita...

I had to replant the dwarf hairgrass three times but since this last replanting (I planted them deeper), he hasn't seemed to want to mess with it. He still won't leave my hydrocotyle alone. So I moved the hydrocotyle to the 10g.

The plants that weren't doing so hot are coming back. I am pretty sure one is Ludwigia of some kind but I still don't know what the lonely stem I have is- I'm just glad it's alive! The top had fallen off. Then after I dosed my first ferts, it put a shoot out the side.


I'm really liking how this plant is growing out. Maybe I'll be able to identify it soon?


And here is the full tank:


Yes, I have algae. It doesn't bug me though. The diatoms seem to be gone. The GSA is fading away. Now it's GDA which in my experience goes away when you leave it alone. I'm just happy the GSA is disappearing- I don't like it on my plants. At least GDA seems to stick to the glass instead of plants. Maybe I'll get some Amano shrimp.


redavalanche happened to be looking for a male bolivian ram so I gave him one of mine (I felt bad for him, he was being bullied so badly by the other- the other even nipped one of his streaming rays on his caudal fin). In exchange he gave me some red cherry shrimp babies.


They just got put in here this morning:



That's it so far. There was a week and another 200% water change in the 10g between the emergency with the fish and getting the shrimp. The 10g is now a shrimp only tank. And snails.

I often have to sit on my hands through the week to keep myself from playing in my tanks. I always look forward to Monday!

Understanding the value of patience is only difficult while you are waiting.
- - - - -
You are angry because you are weak. It is more difficult to be kind.

Last edited by Melika; 03-01-2016 at 06:06 PM. Reason: updated
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