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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My first actual aquarium ever was this ten gallon I got for my brother for his tenth birthday that he eventually started to ignore. It was filled with bright blue gravel and two plastic plants and contained the death of many a fish. But while the fish keeping has always gotten better, I've never been quite happy with it after discovering planted tanks and decided to redo it (especially since I've had some mysterious shrimp deaths and was worried that the nasty gravel was leaching something).
I started with adding Flourite black sand, but despite rinsing until the water ran clear, tank was still fairly cloudy until today (and even not totally clear), but the little five gallon bucket was not supposed to last for almost a week, so fish are going to have to be plopped back in.
The only trouble is that I'm not sure how to place the wood. You can see a couple of different arrangements I was sort of thinking about in the pictures below. I kind of like the second arrangement better, with the stick like wood at the right so I can place my crypts at one side. In the last photo you can kinda of see what I think is stargrass at the far right (either way, grows like a weed), and I'm not sure if it'll go there in the end.
Water Fish supply Pet supply Marine biology Gas

Water Pet supply Fish supply Organism Glass

Water Vertebrate Pet supply Fish supply Marine biology

Water Pet supply Fish supply Marine biology Aquarium

Also, the lighting in the actual tank is more of a mix between the extremes. Seems the camera can't figure out how to take a picture of cloudy water.
Flora:
Crypt wendtii "Florida Sunset"
Crypt lutea
Stargrass (?)
Bucephalandra "Brownie Brown"
Hygrophilia angustifolia
Dwarf sagittaria
Fauna
x3 Chili Rasbora
x5 Otocinculus
x1 Bamboo Shrimp
 

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I'd say for the wood the second picture looks best, with both pieces of wood vertical. The river rocks look a little too artificial IMO. Maybe getting some different sized rocks would make it look more natural? Off to a good start!

Hope the water clears up soon for the fish...

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just noticed I spelled the title redocoration. Sorry, I had a huge IB Caluclus Exam (like an AP exam) this week and a big history test...my brain is beyond fried.
Water cleared up fully today, and even if I move the sand around it settles back down within five minutes. I tried changing some of the rocks around, and I like it but it just doesn't seem natural yet...good thing I collect rocks though, leaves me with plenty of options. :icon_bigg But micro rasboras are going in for now, I think I'll wait a tiny bit before introducing my otos and one lone cherry shrimp (who is getting new friends next week). Oh, and that dead looking plant is just my Florida Sunset Crypt and is just looking poor after a change. Water Vertebrate Plant Fish supply Pet supply
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, my flora got a little worse. My Florida Sunset melted after the move but is bouncing back admirably, but my poor lutea doesn't seem to be doing that hot. I added some gro soil tablets, and we'll see how that works. I also got a summer job, so after paying my parents back, I'm going to invest in my first set of fertilisers!
I also got some new plants. I bought some bucephalandra "Brownie Brown". The seller warned me they were tiny, but I'm totally fine since they are so cute! There were two little babies in there. One is doing just fine, but the other seems to be melting. Hope it survives, it's a significant investment for me. Also got a few stems of Hygrophila pinnatifida, and it's not really doing much other than looking pretty. I've heard a couple of different ways to plant it, though. Apparently it can be attached to driftwood like anubias, but I decided to plant it just in case. Plus it still looks pretty! Plant Branch Organism Grass Terrestrial plant

Plant Terrestrial plant Grass Aquatic plant Tints and shades

Also decided to move some fish around. I was almost contemplating selling the rasboras since they were fairly shy and a little dull until one morning when they, for whatever reason, decided to colour up, and boy are these fish pretty (but too fast to take a picture of... :mad: ). But at the same time I wanted to add bigger fish while making sure the shrimp and little ones stayed alive. Luckily a teacher gave me a heater and I found a three dollar five gallon at Goodwill, so those guys are all hanging out in the five gallon.
To replace the little ones I put in a pair of wild caught betta albimarginata. Whoever said wild bettas are shy apparently never met my male, who has already learned that the pipette = food and happily steals food from the female.
Leaf Snail Organism Scaled reptile Terrestrial animal

Plant Leaf Fawn Grass Terrestrial animal

Cloud Wood Reptile Terrestrial animal Snake

Water Fin Underwater Aquatic plant Fish

The female was more gregarious than the male in the beginning. But I noticed some odd white thing sticking on her side and didn't want to risk ich, so I plopped her in a salt bath today and she's basically been giving me the stink eye since. She is in the last photo. I'm pretty sure she is a she since I can see her ovaries, but I suppose only time will tell. The two also seem really comfortable with each other, and the male routinely bumps her and vice versa and they seem like a happy couple. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Got some brand spanking new lights! It's the Ecoxotic E-Series and it's just gorgeous! It really lights up my tank. It is much higher lighting, so I'll have to either lower the settings or invest in some CO2 and ferts quickly, but for now I'm just enjoying the view. :)
Bettas keep mating and, the male keeps eating his babies. The Hygrophilia melted, which was sad, but the Buce is taking a foothold, which is great! The moss in the tank is dying or something, and I'm a little happy since I didn't have any concrete plans for it anyways. I'll probably move it into one of my five gallons. I also got some Hygro angustifolia and some dwarf sagittaria. Love this new Hygro, and hopefully the sagittaria will spread out a little in the front.
Also moved in a Bamboo shrimp that was getting harassed by a betta in another tank. Meanwhile one of my rasboras has died and I don't think I'll try and find replacements, and I'll probably just sell the lot.
But just as my tank is starting to come together it seems like my tank might be leaking, which is super weird since it's only about five years old and is on a level surface. I turned off the filter since I'm hoping that's what the cause of the water is. If it isn't I'm going tank shopping, since I have no idea how to reseal a tank and honestly don't want to spend the time and money on something that may or may not turn out well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just a quick update, tank isn't leaking, yay! Turns out my filter is cracked and was spilling water out the back which I assume got all the way around the tank to the front to make it look like it was leaking. Luckily I have a backup filter.
 
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