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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Setting up fish room in my new house I decided to grab a 45 gallon aquarium on sale at Petsmart because it would fit perfectly next to my 46 bowfront community tank. It was sort of an impulse buy but I justified it based on the fact that I pretty much had all the materials handy except for the tank itself and the plants.

When I first got back into the hobby 5 years ago my first successful high tech tank was a 29 gallon featuring fish from Southeast Asia/Oceania. I lost all the fish to a failure in treatment of camalanus worms and broke the tank down. But I always wanted to recreate it in some way. So the tank will feature 100% Cryptocorynes, no hardscape aside from the sand, and some sort of Southeast Asian fish. I haven't decided what yet. Was thinking a big school of chili rasboras and some other small barbs or danios and maybe some small gouramis but I am open to suggestions. Will probably let the plants get nice and established first so it may be a few months before I add fish.

45 gallon Aqueon tank (36x12x24) and stand
Current USA 36" Satellite Plus PRO LED x 1 (from my old 40 breeder build which I am going to use as a quarantine tank)
Eheim Classics 2215 and 2213. I prefer to use dual canisters on my tanks now. Provides a backup if one crashes or for cleaning and easier to set up inline heater/CO2 on two separate filters.
GLA Grow Regulator I still had in the box. Bought two years ago but never used it.
Atomic Inline CO2 diffuser. Used to hate the fizzy look but I have it handy and they are so convenient.
Leftover Natural Sand from Buce from my 100 gallon (I bought about twice as much as I needed for that tank! Oops!) Still have a box and 3/4 left. Guess I need another big tank.
Hydor External Inline Heater (I prefer ISTA now but had this in my closet)

Picture of the tank after spray painting the back black. Set up next to my 46 gallon bowfront.

New 45 gallon aquarium next to 46 gallon bowfront by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr

Bump:

Bump: And this is a video of the inspiration for this aquarium. The planted 29 gallon I had almost 5 years ago. I loved this tank.


Bump:

Bump: Plants arrived from Buce Plants yesterday so I set everything up. Not going to win any awards for aquascaping but I think everything will look really nice when the plants start to fill in (which could be as long as six months from now for Crypts). Most of the plants were just regular potted plants but C. nurii was tissue culture.

New 45 gallon planted aquarium by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr

A copy of the picture with the plant names labeled so I don't forget which plant is which. Cryptocorynes aren't always easy to get accurate photos of. If you do a Google search of a specific species often the same pictures are used over and over for different species.

New 45 gallon planted aquarium by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr

Plants are:

C. crispatula var. balansae
C. hudoroi
C. hudoroi 'green'
C. x willisii
C. nurii
C. beckettii
C. albida var. costata
C. parva
 

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I am sure it will turn out into a great planted tank, quick question though... Is the hardscape coming later?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Obviously Cryptocorynes are pretty slow growing so not going to be much of a change in a week but I'll try and keep track of weekly growth anyway. Seeing a bit of melt on some leaves and leaf tips but nothing too drastic so far. Have the CO2 blasting and am just lightly fertilizing with Seachem Flourish, Trace, and Advance which I have had good results with in the past. Plus my well water has about 6ppm Nitrate even after filtered through RO so there is that too. Lights are at 50% and so far no signs of algae. Would like to keep the algae away from this tank because C. parva in particular is so slow growing it can quickly get engulfed and ruined.

Still no idea what sort of fish I am going to keep in this tank but I am being very cautious with money these days because of the new house so I am going to be patient and think things through.

I am remineralizing my RO water with Equilibrium and alkalinity and acidity boosters and went with the bare minimum. About 3 GH, 3 KH and I think 6.5 pH. One concern is I forgot that C. balansae prefers harder water. It is such a huge presence in the back center of this tank it will be kind of a drag if it is unhappy in this soft water. I would really like it to work because I think it is a cool plant but if it doesn't I will replace it with C. spiralis or C. retrospiralis. I did buy a clump of C. retrospiralis but there wasn't any room for it so I put it in the tank next door.

45 gallon planted aquarium Day 7 by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Day 14. Obviously not a huge difference but there is a lot of new growth to balance the melting. Plan on doing a water change this week and trimming off as much of the melted leaves as I can.

Still debating which SE Asian fish I want to keep in this aquarium. But I still won't be getting them for a while. Lots of other stuff going on in the fish room.

45 gallon planted aquarium Day 14 by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I almost feel silly posting these updates because Crypts grow so slowly and there isn't much of a change yet from week to week. But I think it will be worth it when I am able to look back 6 months from now when the tank is really established. I did a water change, cleaned a bit of algae off the glass, and cut back all the melting bits. There is a lot of new growth on all all of the plants so I feel positive overall. I've also been crushing bladder snails I've found. Haven't seen any in a few days so maybe I got them all. There is a bit of BBA in the grooves on the leaves of C. hudori 'Green' so I will probably snip those leaves but I already see a new little leaf forming from a runner near one of the big plants so that is good news.

45 gallon planted aquarium Day 21 by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr

And just so I have something more visually interesting in this update I went back and found some more photos of my old 29 that inspired this tank. Here it was in Feb. 2015 when it was quite established.

My old 29 gallon planted aquarium by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr

And then months later in December of 2015. This is the last photo I took of the tank. Shortly after this I lost all the fish to a camallanus treatment that went wrong and I broke down the tank.

My old 29 gallon planted aquarium by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Day 28! Not much of a change but I have cleaned up some more leaves (including those on the green C. hudoroi which had BBA). Also added some slow release fertilizer in gel caps at the roots of some of the clumps.

Still debating what to do with livestock. Considered getting some Amano shrimp to deal with the algae early on and maybe some red cherry shrimp (or another color variant). But then I thought it might be better to wait and just start out with a big school of Boraras brigittae and see if I get any babies from them. I feel like that is less likely if there are shrimp in the tank. I haven't decided yet and I am not in any rush.

45 gallon planted aquarium Day 28 by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr

Figured I would post a pic of the tank next door to the left too. It is my 46 breeder and is a sort of mixed community tank. Mostly with some of my geriatric fish I have had for a long time along with some kuhli loaches and 5 female Betas. The tank has some C. wendtii 'Red' and Anubias nana both of which I have had for five years as well as Cryptocoryne usteriana 'Red' and Cryptocoryne retrospiralis. I do love my Crypts and am always looking for different species to grow. These fish and plants had been in a 36 gallon in my old house and have been bumped up to the 46. Everything is doing well but I am having a persistent BBA problem and the tank the sand came from had a Cyanobacteria problem that has resisted treatment so far. The good thing is that in my new house since my fish room is next to my office I am taking much better care of the tanks and have been pruning out leaves that get too much BBA on them and have been doing (slightly) more frequent water changes. I was a lot less likely to do this when my tanks at the old house were basically in a large mudroom off the kitchen where I didn't hang out as much.

46 Gallon Bowfront Planted Community Tank by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Day 35 and not much has changed. There is definitely some string algae going on and possibly some Cyanobacteria that I need to keep an eye on (tank next door has a medication resistant strain that I have been battling for ages). Bottom left-back brownish plant was sold as C. hudoroi which I was a bit skeptical about. It is growing some new leaves that do have some puckering though so maybe it is. Will be interesting to see what it looks like as it grows larger.

Aquatic Arts was having a sale so I almost bought 20 Amano shrimp but I have decided to hold off on livestock for now.

45 gallon planted aquarium Day 35 by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Day 42! I can't believe I have gone this long without adding fish or shrimp but my resolve is weakening. Especially because there is a bit of green string algae in the tank.

Even though it doesn't look like much has changed if I go to my Flickr album and click through the pictures I can see the growth of some of the plants. It is happening just slowly.

45 gallon planted aquarium Day 42 by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr

In other news the 46 bowfront next door is doing well. I love the Cryptocoryne retrospiralis and the big Anubias driftwood is bouncing back. I continue to remove any leaves with BBA on them on the plants in this tank and removed all the rocks that had BBA on them. Killed it off with a soak in diluted bleach but will hold off on adding them back until it is more under control.

I am loving this Cryptocoryne retrospiralis in my 45 bowfront. by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr
 

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Cool tank! The old one looked great as well.

I'm in the same boat: I'm planning on turning my 33 gallon tank into a SE Asian tank. It won't be a true biotope, but I'm planning on a bigger school of black ruby barbs, a small school of cherry barbs, a trio of pearl gouramis and maybe a few small loaches. Alternatively, instead of the gouramis I was considering one hulking male paradise fish.

I love the barbs. Wish I had a bigger tank to house different schools of barbs.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks!

Black ruby barbs were one of the things I was considering. But my other option is to go with smaller fish. Last night I made a list of some that I am considering.

Rasbora rubrodorsalis - cherry spot Rasbora
Boraras urophthalmoides - exclamation point Rasbora
Boraras naevus - strawberry Rasbora
Boraras brigittae - chili Rasbora

I definitely think I want the R. rubrodorsalis but can't decide which Boraras. Probably the chili as they are the most colorful but the exclamation points are a buck less a piece.

Or maybe the Boraras aren't that exciting? I have been watching lots of videos of other peoples tanks and am not sure how great they are. Maybe I should just go with larger barbs. It is a 3' long tank so I have some options to go either way. Just going to let the plants grow in a bit more while I weigh my options.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Day 51! Some day this tank will be beautiful and all my earlier posts will seem more meaningful but right now another picture cataloguing the slow growth of Cryptocorynes. There seems to be a little bit of Cyanobacteria in the tank so I am treating it now before it gets out of hand. Took this photo last night but today I did a 50% water change and cleaned up some of the algae off the leaves and trimmed some of the plants. Considering adding livestock in the next week or two.

45 gallon planted aquarium Day 51 by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Day 59. Thinking of adding fish next week. Possibly big schools of B. brigittae (chili rasbora), R. rubrodorsalis (cherry spot rasbora), and K. vitreolus (glass cat). I'll have a look at the availability list this weekend and make my final decision.

45 gallon planted aquarium Day 59 by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr

In my 46 bowfront next door my keyhole cichlids have finally laid eggs. They have been digging out sand in a few spots on the right for a few weeks now but I wasn't sure if they were going to lay eggs. Very hard to see them because they are on the back glass (and my vision is poor) but I can make out a few and the female is not moving from the spot and is fanning her fins. The male is hovering around most of the time. In other news my inline CO2 diffuser must be too clogged and isn't really working that well and the BBA exploded with a vengeance. Annoying because I felt like I had been keeping it at bay. I ordered a new diffuser that will arrive tomorrow and I am thinking of rescaping the tank a bit once the breeding situation has come to an end. Move the driftwood more to the center and move around some of the C. wendtii 'Red'. I'll remove some of the plants and give them a bleach dip or something.

46 gallon bowfront aquarium by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr
 

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Beautiful tank!
 
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