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33 long low-tech Jungle mess

11489 Views 99 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Blackheart
Hello all. Around the end of March last year, I setup my 33 long. One of my favorite sized tanks personally. It's a pleasure to work with and 'scape. My goal was to have a four foot tank that was not overwhelming in size. Basically just enough to have a decent planted tank and a bit of fish. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing COVID19 global pandemic and my spouse becoming seriously ill in April 2020 from COVID infection, the tank was thrown on the back burner and sat and cycled for about three months. My world and family was almost shattered... She did recover however thank God. There has been a lot that has changed since then. This tank has been setup twice since overall and in October, we moved away from our mobile home and bought a house.

Currently, I have the following in my tank setup:
Seapora 33 gallon long tank 48x13x12
60 LBs Caribsea Sunset Gold
Finnex Stingray 48 inch light fixture
Seachem Tidal 35 filters (2)
Livestock/ Plants:
24 Golden White Cloud Mountain Minnows
Many Cherry Shrimp
Rotala Indica
Crypt Balansae
Crypt Wendtii
Crypt Lucens

This is the tank currently: A mess as I'm not really great at aquacaping, but I quite love it.


Here are some pictures of the tank before it was tore down in October of 2020 and re-setup in December at the new house:


When the tank was first setup



Finally I believe in either early June, I started adding plants and fish!


Started with I believe 10 Guppies. Never kept them before this and fell in love with them!


This is kind of what it progressed into and how I kept it until I tore it down. I loved it.



When the tank was tore down, I believe I had around 24 Guppies and 9 Glowlight Tetras. Along with whatever other baby guppies there were.


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It was a very sad day when I had to tear down the tank, but a happy one, since I knew I was going to move to a house which we had been searching for for a year.


The tank sat at my in laws for about a month since I wanted to have somewhere to store my plants. All the fish were gone. Sadly most of the plants, including my beautiful sword, had turned to mush. But, in December, I re-setup the tank.

What a great feeling! Being able to sit in the couch in your own house and sit and watch your tank.


Here is the tank as it stands now. I removed the driftwood as I was ready for a change. I like it as well as I feel the fish have a bit more room to swim.



This Crypt Balansae has gone BONKERS. I swear, it must be 24 inches tall. I love it. It grows so easily for me.



One of the Blue Velvet shrimp. I actually want to get more, but they are so darned expensive.
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A few thoughts...The tank is now and will be probably for quite some time a White Cloud and Blue/Cherry Shrimp tank. So, before the tank was tore down, it used to be primarily a Guppy tank which was my goal again when I had reset it up. Well, I was having trouble finding Guppies that were of good quality and that would actually live. So I gave up. I tried several fish and just didn't care for either their behavior or they were skittish and hid constantly. I had tried Black Neon tetras and Penguin tetras. Both IMO were meh. So I came across Golden White Clouds at my LFS 1 dollar a piece! I picked up 20 at first. They have been incredibly hardy so far. Almost bullet proof! I have since then picked up 5 more just for an extra large school. I thought about getting more, but I think 25 is a nice balance.

This has been the most enjoyable tank I've ever had. It's the first time I have actually kept a planted tank and it has thrived and plants have actually grown. I contribute this IMO to several things. The size of the tank being only 12 inches tall with closer, dimmer lighting and the use of ferts/root tabs. I have had many tanks in the past never had long term success with growing plants until I started up this tank.
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I like the different iterations the tank has gone through over time and do like the latest one, very nice.

Sorry to hear about your spouse and covid-19 but glad to hear of the recovery.
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Thank you! I just wish I was better at Aquascaping technique. This was one comfort when she was sick and I was alone taking care of my son being able to watch the tank and imagine everything that I was gonna do with it.
Heres a few more shots of some of the old guppies and aquascape. Loved the colors on them. The old aquascape... I tried so hard to replicate it but had no luck.



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My favorite tank size, too. I'm really fond of crypt balansae but I don't have any tall crypts in my 33L- shorter ones and a bunch of leopard vals. Glad to hear your family is ok from covid- that's pretty scary. Sitting in front of my tanks just looking at the green plants and watching the fish is one of the calmest things for me right now (used to be the garden but not with the overwhelming cicada noise right now!)
Thanks! One of my favorite things to do is to sit in our lazy boy recliner and watch my tank from across the room. Especially late at night after everyone has gone to bed and I turn out all the lights. I gotta say, I think the only thing I don't really like about the 33 long is how short it is when standing looking at it. But, obviously, most of the times I am looking at it I am sitting down on the couch watching it, so not the biggest deal.
Some more shots I took just for fun. I am trying to get some shots of the White Clouds but it's quite difficult. I feel like it's hard to do their colors justice.





Having a bit of algae issues... ugh


One of the Cherry Shrimp... with guest appearance by random snail lol

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I like how the colors of your white clouds goes with the rosy hue on the tops of your rotalas. Very nice together!
Thank you! I do like both color variations of WCMM, but the Gold ones were so cheap I couldn't pass them up!
Did my water change routine today. I usually do 50% every two weeks. Never had a problem with this so this is the route I shall continue.




I was able to get some semi decent shots of the GWCM thanks to the algae wafer I threw in the tank.





Snails taking over of what remains of the algae wafer.
Vertebrate Plant Wood Organism Terrestrial plant
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I loved reading the post and following along with the changes in the tank. I also agree that, at least from an aesthetic point of view, the removal of the driftwood was a smart choice. Congrats on the new house and keep us updated on the tank, I for one will be very interested in seeing what else you have in store.
Thank you! I appreciate it. I had thought about adding some more driftwood, but a smaller piece that doesn't take up a lot of room. A few of my next thoughts on this tank are adding a black background, adding some more species of plants to try out such as Water Wisteria, Jungle Val and Dwarf sag, and also over time replacing the Aquaclear 50 filters with some other HOB filters. It seems like I have nothing but problems with the 50 model. I have used the 70 in the past, but I think two AC 70 filters would be a bit much for this tank. I don't know if it just needs a cleaning or not, but my left side filter as slowed down to the point where it doesn't even look like it's running. I will have to give it a cleaning this week and see what happens.

Also! I plan on adding more Blue Velvet shrimp at some point hopefully. Not sure when as they are hard to come by from my LFS... And also not cheap. I ordered 10 RCS from ebay and though they are nice, they are really small. I don't know whether I would rather just do all blue or all red. The blue ones definitely look awesome though,
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Ugh. I am having a horrible time with this nasty looking green algae. It's spreading everywhere in the tank and I'm not really sure why. Something is clearly out of balance.

Plant Plant community Botany Terrestrial plant Organism

Recently, I picked up two Seachem Tidal filters. I am quite impressed by these. I had to return the 55 though because it's literally too big for the tank. The input tube touched the sand. The 35 has really good flow though. One thing I don't like about it though is the way it's designed. Unlike the 55, it doesn't have an intake tube. I will be getting another one of these down the line to replace my other Aquaclear 50 on the other side.

Blue Packaging and labeling Peripheral Carton Audio equipment

Not much else is new. Still the same fish stock. They are doing great. I love them. I think that's the best track record I've had yet honestly. Having fish for 3-4 months and zero deaths.
I did sadly lose one of my two Blue Velvet shrimp I think though. Literally. I have only seen one lately. My guess is either it escaped or died and was quickly ate. I think the RCS had babies though because I am seeing more of them lately and they aren't the same color as the ones I ordered. They are a bit of a clear color. I love being able to have them in the tank though as the WCMM don't bother them generally.
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I did a little bit of "rescaping." Or rather, I threw plants in where I thought they looked okay lol

I added Italian Val. I have never had success with Vals, so I figured I would give them a whirl again. I have also noticed many different baby cherry shrimp! Whether or not they are surviving or not, I am not entirely sure. I don't know if they made it past my 50% water change recently, but I'd love it if they survived as I want the tank to be full of them.

I also defeated my cyanobacteria issue! I did a four day black out awhile back. After that, nothing!





This Rotala Indica is going bonkers. I have just been leaving it be and not trimming it but I will have to soon as I am sure it will start showing decayed growth and blocking out light for other plants.




My only blue shrimp left :(

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Not much new to report. I do have lots of baby cherry shrimp though! I love it! Strange though... I have lots of Cherry shrimp, but some of them are clear with a small tinge of red. I know they aren't Amano shrimp because they are the same size as the Cherries. Any idea what's up with this? Most of them are red though. Are they like just the runts of the litter?



Shot of the tank currently. Sort of. I trimmed the Rotala because it was getting a bit unruly.



So... I am having a frustrating issue. Every time I do tank maintenance, and vacuum the sand... it's clean. Then the next day... this is how it looks.



Any advice? Is my filtration not adequate? Am I not getting enough flow? Or is this just something beyond my control?
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I love 33 long tanks, too. I kept one as a native stream tank for many years and then as a nano reef for several years. It's empty now, but I've been dying to get it up and running again.
I love 33 long tanks, too. I kept one as a native stream tank for many years and then as a nano reef for several years. It's empty now, but I've been dying to get it up and running again.
I love 33 long tanks, too. I kept one as a native stream tank for many years and then as a nano reef for several years. It's empty now, but I've been dying to get it up and running again.
Definitely set it up. My tank was tore down from mid October to almost January and it was really depressing! This tank has been such a joy for me. It has been the only tank I have had in years that not only have I been able to actually keep plants alive, but they are actually growing. Low tech, slow and steady, but hey, I'll take it.

I have had many other tanks besides this, 55, 75, 40 breeder, 58 gallon, as well as several others. Any time I attempted to do a fully planted setup, I had never been successful and my plants always turned to mush.

I would attribute several possible things in the 33 for my reasons that I am actually having some success... The tank is a much shorter setup, and the plants I have are able to use this short height to light penetration better, even though the light is only a Finnex stingray. The sand substrate is pretty fine so might be better for plants roots as well as the Seachem root tabs I have added in spots. I was adding Seachem Flourish and Iron for awhile, but I usually just forget now. My guess is the fish waste is acting as a good fertilizer.
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