Hey guys, newcomer here, first post!
I've been looking for a website to start up an aquarium blog, and i've been reading bits and pieces from this forum in the past few weeks to learn some tips and tricks. This site has been incredibly helpful, and i figured no better place to start my journal than here.
My tank is a 40g breeder, it has been planted for about a month and a half now, but was before an african cichlid tank. I cleaned out the cichlids, and started fresh. I did a large water change, and began planting some small plants. (At this pont, i wasn't too knowledgeable about plant species, so i kinda just started buying what i thought looked cool, heh. I later found out that dwarf hairgrass is a difficult plant to maintain, but since adding my DIY co2 setup, it seems to be taking well)
Now, the tank wasn't too pretty at this point. It had large brown algae buildup on the back and left sides, and also along the gravel line down bottom. I eventually picked up some oto cats (god damn, do they do good work) and some cory cats. Also, i'm not too sure of the dates i took these pictures, or if they're even in the correct order. Since i began this tank, I've done a couple re-plants, and reorganizing of the drift wood and such. I'll be more thorough and accurate in the future, but the beginning stages i'll just put up here for you guys to view.
So after tweaking the wood, i decided i wanted it to almost wrap around the back of the tank, sort of encircling the front part in front of it. This is what i came up with for now, albino cory's included. I also added another layer of finer substrate to help keep the dwarf hairgrass rooted. I also really like the black sand look, it makes the green in the plants pop alot more than before.
Just a closeup of the DHG and gravel.
Right after setting up my co2 generator, i later moved the diffuser and powerhead to the back of the tank to avoid the tiny bubbles from being distracting from the fish and plants behind it. (Also, keep in mind that in between some of these photos, more plants were added, but i've honestly lost track of which i put in, and when, heh.)
I believe this photo was taken right before i included 2 otto cats in with the cory's, as you can see on the back, there's quite a large buildup of algae. (Also, if you look closely, you can see a swipe through it where i begin cleaning it, and then said 'F-this!' and gave up because it was a real pain in the A to get back there with the tank lights and all that on top heh.)
My first amano shrimp! I picked up 3 of these little buggers, and upon introducing them into my tank, they immediately began eating all the brown that had build up on the leaves. These guys are hard workers, and i love them for it!
This is my most recent photo i've taken (Today, January 18th, 2016.)
As you can see, the water cleared up, and everything is thriving as of now. I can barely find any algae anywhere, so my little cleanup crew is doing a great job.
Stay tuned for more updates, as i will be doing a post atleast once a week to keep tracking my progress, and also, feel free to leave any comments and recommendations on what you think might look good!
Also, i have included below a link to a imgur gallery of animated GIF's of my tank, to help you guys see it in motion a little bit. Thanks for reading!