Need help scaping my 7.5g tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-01-2016, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Need help scaping my 7.5g tank

Hello everyone! I am redoing my tank and need some help scaping it. I am not familiar with plant species and definitely not as creative as some on here. I currently have an AC 20 filter, a 16" Finnex stingray 12" from substrate and dosing excel and paintball co2. I can dose ferts as well as I still have some AF Macro/Micro mix. Right now I have a crypt and 4 leaf clover as plants right now. My stock consists of 10 green neon's, 4 pygmy cories and about 10 blue velvet and cherry shrimp. Any help would be appreciated.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-01-2016, 08:36 PM
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Do you plan on buying more scaping materials or working with what you have??


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-01-2016, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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I am open to buying more hardscape, if need be. But mainly want to fill it in with more plants.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-01-2016, 09:24 PM
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Maybe consider moving a bit of your crypt over to even out the other side of the tank, and put some java fern on the driftwood to compensate? Alternatively, you could pick up some anubias to go in that other corner. It looks like you're good on moss and I love the quadrifolia you've got going.

I just wanna have some happy fish and some happy plants.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 04:38 AM
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Sloping substrate up towards the back instead of laying flat will help a lot in giving the tank depth. And maybe group those small pieces of rock up around the bigger log? They get totally lost in the ground cover plants. Another option would be to get ride of the small rocks altogether. And what is the substrate, is that aquasoil of some kind?

You could probably do a light upgrade to a planted+ or the like. I believe the light will be a limiting factor for plant growth in this case and probably means as it stands that your CO2 setup is overkill and probably not helping much other than lowering your pH. Basically, your plants have plenty of CO2, but not enough energy from the light to actually use all the CO2 you're pumping into the tank. With the CO2, a light upgrade, and some ferts here and there you could get some nice stem plants (ludwigia, rotala, blyxa japonica, bacopa, etc. Google and the for sale forum here will be your friend for those) that will help fill in the back and this should also encourage your marsilea minuta (I believe that's the plant) ground cover to actually cover the ground. Also dosing may not be too necessary since your bio-load is on the higher end (maybe dosing potassium and micros, but fish poop and leftover food may give enough nitrates/phosphates), unless you do water changes more frequently than once every week...

So overall, sloping the substrate and getting more plants will give your tank a nice upgrade. And look into a more powerful light to grow said plants because I believe the stingray can't grow much of anything beyond crypts, anubias, or moss. Just keep up on your tank parameters to keep from getting algae more than the gsa/gda on the wood and rocks you have now (which is pretty normal and nothing to worry about). But otherwise I actually like the log and placement (slanted about 1/3 of the way to the side of the tank), I think it's good there, just make sure you don't completely hide it with plants if you get some new ones, haha.

Hope that helps and best of luck! The green neons and cory cats are really cool fish!

Old tanks, all torn down:
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Hope to get a new tank (or two) up soon...
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemGuyEthan View Post
Sloping substrate up towards the back instead of laying flat will help a lot in giving the tank depth. And maybe group those small pieces of rock up around the bigger log? They get totally lost in the ground cover plants. Another option would be to get ride of the small rocks altogether. And what is the substrate, is that aquasoil of some kind?

You could probably do a light upgrade to a planted+ or the like. I believe the light will be a limiting factor for plant growth in this case and probably means as it stands that your CO2 setup is overkill and probably not helping much other than lowering your pH. Basically, your plants have plenty of CO2, but not enough energy from the light to actually use all the CO2 you're pumping into the tank. With the CO2, a light upgrade, and some ferts here and there you could get some nice stem plants (ludwigia, rotala, blyxa japonica, bacopa, etc. Google and the for sale forum here will be your friend for those) that will help fill in the back and this should also encourage your marsilea minuta (I believe that's the plant) ground cover to actually cover the ground. Also dosing may not be too necessary since your bio-load is on the higher end (maybe dosing potassium and micros, but fish poop and leftover food may give enough nitrates/phosphates), unless you do water changes more frequently than once every week...

So overall, sloping the substrate and getting more plants will give your tank a nice upgrade. And look into a more powerful light to grow said plants because I believe the stingray can't grow much of anything beyond crypts, anubias, or moss. Just keep up on your tank parameters to keep from getting algae more than the gsa/gda on the wood and rocks you have now (which is pretty normal and nothing to worry about). But otherwise I actually like the log and placement (slanted about 1/3 of the way to the side of the tank), I think it's good there, just make sure you don't completely hide it with plants if you get some new ones, haha.

Hope that helps and best of luck! The green neons and cory cats are really cool fish!

I went ahead and ordered a 16" Planted+ today and it should get it sometime next week. You are correct in that I would be able to use a wide variety of plants and not just be limited to low light plants. The substrate I am using was given to me to try out, by a friend of mine who owns a LFS. It is called "Shrimp King" by Dennerle.


Here is the link: Shrimp King Active Soil | Dennerle


Should I cut back on the amount of Co2 I am using, till I get the light and more plants? My drop checker is stable with a dark green color in 4kh solution. Thanks for the advice.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 02:13 AM
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Oh, nice. Yeah, the planted+ is a pretty good light. You'll notice how much brighter it is, haha.

Huh, an interesting soil. Seems like it should be pretty good though.

And I think just leave the CO2 as is since it hasn't been hurting anything. The reading on the drop checker is fine, maybe a little low, but that could also be affected by placement of the diffuser, placement of the drop checker, surface disturbance, and overall flow in the tank. It'll take some playing around with. Just leave it like it is with the new light and see how things fair (watch for algae, see if you drop checker goes blue). Don't make any big increases in CO2 right away, you don't want to gas your shrimp (believe me I've done it and it's easy to do).

Old tanks, all torn down:
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Hope to get a new tank (or two) up soon...
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Here is an update on my tank. Still needs a couple of tweaks to the plants but I am satisfied overall. I added a 16in planted plus, i upped the CO2 just a tad. Have CO2 and lights going 4hrs in the am and 4hrs in the pm. Started dosing ferts daily and excel every other day. Now I actually have a carpet going.




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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 06:04 AM
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This tank looks really good! Well done! It has come a long way from the start.
I really like nano tanks like these which focus mainly on plants to fill out the tank, almost Dutch-ish but not truly a Dutch.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 06:33 AM
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Wow that looks really good. And here I was starting from the top of the thread, thinking how in the world are you going to scape with just one piece of wood??? Well done
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind words. I still need to rescape it a little bit. But i think i am satisfied with how it turned out.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 03:20 PM
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Looks great!

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