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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I am a new member, but have been into the aquarium hobby for nearly 9 years. Just recently, about last year, my mom and I got a 125 gallon tank for our goldfish that I've had since the start of my journey.

Since then, I have made some mistakes to the tank, but not many. one was using sand as the substrate. I want to strip the tank down and replace the substrate to Eco-Complete or something similar (not dirt), but cannot for a while because money is not being brought into the house. I also do not run CO2 but may in the future.

So, here's my challenge. I have the left side of the tank to my liking, but the anubias is a little big in the front. Mainly, the right side is pretty crowded and I do not have any ideas of what to do. I was wondering if you folks had any suggestions? I use Current USA Satellite+ LED lights, and the stock florescent lights that came with the tank. Remember, money is an issue so I cannot easily get rocks, driftwood and plants.

And yes, those are goldfish housed with tropical fish. They are great in the conditions they live in.















Thank you!

-Perry
 

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If you are on a budget look into using SafeTSorb as a substrate. It's dusty but extremely cheap. I bought 40 pounds for $8 shipped a few years ago. For a completely new substrate you would need 2 bags and that is it. Sand with added root tabs and liquid fertilizer is a fine substrate though. Take your time changing it as it isn't the reason you aren't happy with plant growth. Aquatic plants aren't picky about what anchors them, they really aren't.

Anubias shouldn't have rhizomes under the substrate. Pull them up so only the roots are under. I'd actually tie or glue them to the wood just behind. Gel super glue is safe and you can apply it underwater. Make sure there is a firm spot to connect, put a pea sized glob on the plant and hold in place for the count of 30 or so. One ingenious TPTer put some glue on roots and dipped the plant in substrate which weighed it down nicely. $ store. Comes in 2 packs and a tube should have about 10 big globs in it.

I like the left side too, will look nice once plants have gotten a bit larger. I do like the crypt jungle on the right side, just need something of a contrasting shape behind the wood. If the wisteria gets going then you are good to go, that stuff gets big when happy. It's unlikely it will survive the goldfish though.

The stems aren't likely to grow like crazy unless they get some nutrients in them and the sword plants look hungry as well. Can you get a bottle of Seachem Flourish? I dosed it on faith and gave my plants too much light and they grew like gangbusters in a gravel substrate years ago. Lots of green algae though! Low tech tanks usually have enough nitrogen and phosphorus from fish poop but potassium and iron are in short supply. Let them grow to the surface and get really happy before cutting off the tops and replanting.

If you have any solid fertilizers in the house one that is high in potassium and low in nitrogen and phosphorus might work. An old time root tab was to buy a $2 pack of Jobe's Palm and Fern sticks and put a 1/2" bit under rosette plants like crypts and swords a couple times a year. Or Osmocote pellets, put one tiny pellet under each rosette right at the bottom of the tank every couple months. Could ask somebody with it for a tablespoonful, that's enough for several doses. Don't worry about the stem plants as the nutrients will diffuse out of the substrate and they will get plenty. Jobe's leaves a nasty paper matrix behind and Osmocote pellet casing don't vanish, they aren't perfect but they are cheap and easy to find.

I think your tank mostly needs patience. It's low tech and isn't going to fill in as fast as one with CO2 and all that. You have good plants for low tech and they look healthy. Keep the light on for 8 hours a day or so to keep algae from getting to be a problem and see if you can get one of those low tech root tabs I mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you are on a budget look into using SafeTSorb as a substrate. It's dusty but extremely cheap. I bought 40 pounds for $8 shipped a few years ago. For a completely new substrate you would need 2 bags and that is it. Sand with added root tabs and liquid fertilizer is a fine substrate though. Take your time changing it as it isn't the reason you aren't happy with plant growth. Aquatic plants aren't picky about what anchors them, they really aren't.

Anubias shouldn't have rhizomes under the substrate. Pull them up so only the roots are under. I'd actually tie or glue them to the wood just behind. Gel super glue is safe and you can apply it underwater. Make sure there is a firm spot to connect, put a pea sized glob on the plant and hold in place for the count of 30 or so. One ingenious TPTer put some glue on roots and dipped the plant in substrate which weighed it down nicely. $ store. Comes in 2 packs and a tube should have about 10 big globs in it.

I like the left side too, will look nice once plants have gotten a bit larger. I do like the crypt jungle on the right side, just need something of a contrasting shape behind the wood. If the wisteria gets going then you are good to go, that stuff gets big when happy. It's unlikely it will survive the goldfish though.

The stems aren't likely to grow like crazy unless they get some nutrients in them and the sword plants look hungry as well. Can you get a bottle of Seachem Flourish? I dosed it on faith and gave my plants too much light and they grew like gangbusters in a gravel substrate years ago. Lots of green algae though! Low tech tanks usually have enough nitrogen and phosphorus from fish poop but potassium and iron are in short supply. Let them grow to the surface and get really happy before cutting off the tops and replanting.

If you have any solid fertilizers in the house one that is high in potassium and low in nitrogen and phosphorus might work. An old time root tab was to buy a $2 pack of Jobe's Palm and Fern sticks and put a 1/2" bit under rosette plants like crypts and swords a couple times a year. Or Osmocote pellets, put one tiny pellet under each rosette right at the bottom of the tank every couple months. Could ask somebody with it for a tablespoonful, that's enough for several doses. Don't worry about the stem plants as the nutrients will diffuse out of the substrate and they will get plenty. Jobe's leaves a nasty paper matrix behind and Osmocote pellet casing don't vanish, they aren't perfect but they are cheap and easy to find.

I think your tank mostly needs patience. It's low tech and isn't going to fill in as fast as one with CO2 and all that. You have good plants for low tech and they look healthy. Keep the light on for 8 hours a day or so to keep algae from getting to be a problem and see if you can get one of those low tech root tabs I mentioned.
Thank you very much for an in-depth response, just what I was looking for. All of my Anubias' rhizomes are above the substrate, I learned that a while ago.



I have added some smaller anubias on the left side. The pot didn't come with the tag but I believe it is a Nana variation. I talked to my LFS about trading bigger anubias for smaller variations like nana, and they're cool with it. So the front will be less crowded.

I am dosing Seachem Flourish Excel, Potassium, and Iron. Should I stop what I'm using and use a different Seachem fertilizer? We also use root tabs with the crypts and swords.

The water wisteria doesn't seem to be doing so well, what can I do to help it? The bottom half of the stem wont grow leaves and roots, while the upper half is. Ideas?


Now for the right side. Added anacharis in between the two pieces of driftwood.


What are your thoughts? Sorry if I go off the topic of aquascaping, I don't want to make too many posts.

Thanks,
Perry
 
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