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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
*CURRENT PICTURES ON LAST PAGE!*
Recently Re-Scaped"

And its actually on a bookshelf!!!

This is my first attempt an an aquascape. I've kept plants before, but never beyond sticking them into the gravel and hoping they lived. This is by no means complete. In fact I just started aquascaping it this week.
I have all my background plants planted and figured out. Now I'm still playing around with rocks, and trying to figure out my foreground and mid ground plants. I'm thinking water shamrock for the foreground.

Tank - Petco 6.6 Gallon Bookshelf Aquarium (24"Lx8.13"Wx9.25"H)
Substrate - CaribSea Tahitian Moonlight Sand
Lighting - Single T8 Bulb (came with the tank), Upgrading to dual T5NO strip, 6700k.
Filter - Aquaclear 20
Heating - None (will be getting one once summer is over)
CO2 - None (DIY yeast setup soon, Building DIY Paintball)
Fertz - None (will be dosing Flourish, and Flourish Iron)
Hardscape - Local rocks
Flora - Red Ludwigia, Parrots Feather, Rotala Indica, Greater Duckweed, and Water Wisteria (this is for coverage and to absorb nutrients, will be replaced)
Fauna - 2 male fancy guppies, 1 baby guppy, 5 leopard cories, 1 zebra nerite, 1 oto (will be getting him at lest one friend when my LFS get them in), and 4 blue pearl shrimp.



I just planted the rotala yesterday. The parrots feather and red ludwigia was bought at the time of tank setup. Both have finally started establishing a large healthy root system. The rotala was bought with a large root system. The parrots feather and rotala were grown out of water. I'm waiting to see progress on the rotala, but the parrots feather has sent out new submerged growth. Waiting for it to grow another inch or two before I tim it to start promoting a nice bush. Same with the red ludwigia and rotala. The duckweed is starting to shade my red ludwigia, I have to scoop some out some next time I'm in the tank.
Had a die off of 10 blue pearls the day the rotala was added. No test kit so I had no idea what caused it, after a water change and some time everything has gone back to normal and my surviving shrimp couldnt be happier.
Finally, suggestions or tips are welcome!! Sorry for the bad pictures.. My cats ran off with my camera charger and all I have is my really bad cellphone camera.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Advice needed!! I want to leave that side under the duckweed open sand for my cories.. And want to slope the planted side down towards the sand... I'm having trouble finding a good midground and foreground plant... And with rock placement... I want a rock where that one is.. but I want more to create some sort of border or edge.. Having trouble making it look good... And creating depth and the illusion that this tank is much larger than it is..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just officially switched over my fish to homemade fish food... I still feel like the recipe and proportions are off but, they liked my first two batches a lot... So I figured I would tweak it as each new batch was created...
I've started recruiting people in my area to text out this batch... But so far I only have a few and have accidentally made alot more than I need... Still figuring out what to do with the rest.... My fish responded really well to this food.. and the last batch as well.. more active, less mess, more color, more spawning. My blue guppy has really deepened in colour. And a black and red spot have appeared on his body, as well As black lines running along his body and turquoise developing on his tail. He's turned into a real stunning guy.. All my fish have shown improved activity and coloration...
Ok so, here's the recipe... Tell me if you have any ideas to improve it..
1/3 lb Salmon
1/3 lb Beef Heart
1/3 lb Shrimp (d-veined and shelled)
1/3 lb Cod
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 1/2 Zucchini
1 Small Summer Squash
1/2 Package Frozen Bloodworms
3/4 Cups Cold Water
1 Large Jar Organic Pea and Spinach Baby Food
1 3/4 Cups Water
1/2 Tbsp Spirulina
4 Packets Gelatin

I skinned and chopped all the fish and shrimp and blended them on low with the baby food. The baby food I got had 3 sizes. I opted for the largest one. I threw in the peeled garlic at this point and let it blend in there for a while.. After that I cut the fat and veins off the beef heart, chopped it up finely and set it aside. At this point I needed to add about 3/4 cups cold water just so my blender could blend it. I started out little by little but ended up using about that much. I put the spirulina in along with the beef heart and peeled zucchini and squash. I added the blood worms and blended. I put 1 3/4 cups water on the stove, brought it to a boil, and added the gelatin packets. Stirred it in real well and added it to the fish and veggie puree. I mixed that well and poured it in ice cube trays and put it in the fridge to set. After that I cut it up what I would use by the end of the week and put it in a jar the the fridge.. The rest I put in my freezer. Next time I would probably use gloves as the horrible smell it produces is really hard to get off. So far I really like this though... I;m going to see how long it lasts in the freezer to adjust my proportions accordingly...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well... I havent updated this in a long time.
Mainly because my growth is SLOWWWW!!!! But its ok. I want it that way. I would like to be able to enjoy my aquascape for long intervals. I ' have only had to trim the rotala once.
I did some shifting and planting. Nothing is really different. But stuff has grown in. theres now some crypt parva in front. Not alot. It just got acclimated to the tank and finally started to spread a little. I might buy a couple more pots of it just to fill it out more. The rock is still there.. But mainly to act as a buffer to my filter flow. I really like the flow if this filter, It makes the flow in my tank pretty great, but directly underneath it gets pretty buffeted with current.
I also got rid of the duckweed. Now that there's a decent plant mass I felt the need for it was gone. Originally it was there to help soak up nutrients and to shade the sand from the harsh light.
I also upgraded the light. Originally it had the bright blueish T8 bulb. I tried upgrading the bulb, but it was super super super yellow. I bought the Aqueon 2 bulb T5NO fixture. One 6,700k and one colourmax. $60 for the whole thing.
Not the best fixture, but on a tank this shallow it still produces pretty high lighting. After adding it my growth got much faster. Well Much faster than it was. My rotala has turned a lovely pink at the tips, My parrots feather shot up an inch or two, and my red ludwigia is taking on a nice reddish hue. The scape is almost done. I would like to get one more midground plant and replace the rock. But I have no idea what to get.
After that though its literally just going to be me trimming it into shape and waiting. I'm kinda liking it. The afternoon sun is hitting my room right now so I'll try and take a picture after it goes away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Picture taken. Still with a really bad camera phone. Sorry about the picture quality. As you can see the plants still need to grow in. And the front of the wisteria needs to be trimmed back down in front. The red lidwigia is finally starting to bush out after a hardcore trim. I think next month all the plants will be pretty near what I want.
Any suggestions for what to replace that rock with would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Changes since my last update are..
The parrots feather and red ludwigia was just melting all its leaves. So I trimmed them both down to nubs because i was tired of leaves dropping. the parrots feather is finally in all submerged growth, and is actually a very pretty plant. the rotala is all submerged growth as well.
I don't think its rotala indica, which is what it was labeled as.
The baby guppy turned into a sort of mutt like lyre tail. Not pretty, but I have had him since he was a baby!! I'm emotionally attached. And the actual lyretail died after he jumped out the tank one day. I'm planning on getting another guppy as soon as they get them in. I really like 3 of them.
One of my cories died, but he never acted right from the beginning. From day one his top fin was always clamped down. A month or two in and he just died. I got another one and all is healthy.
I also go tthe oto two friends. Who he just ignores. He doesnt like being anywhere near them. And just forages right in front. It worked out really. Because they like being together, but hate being visible. So they clean all the parts that I can't see. And he hates being out of the light. and only cleans the parts that are visible.
Thats it really.
Adding some more crypts in and maybe some stones to creat some sort of border where the plants end and the sand begins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nice little tank! Ive been considering a little tank for my office, never seen this size before. Never heard of homemade fish food before either, is it little chunks that you feed? Are you still using it?

Carl
Its a super awesome tank. I love the size of it. I've also seen it de-rimmed and it looks great. Actually the back rim on top just comes off. No work required. The filter that came with it would have been awesome to stuff with media if it hadnt been so loud.

Yes. I keep all of the cubes in a ziplock bag in a Tupperware container in the freezer. I take one cube out wrap it in paper towel and put it in the fridge to defost. Takes a couple hours. I take it out and cut some slices off of it and cut those into cubes. However much I use in about a week. Which is usually two slices cut into 1/4 inch cubes.
I put the cubes in a baggy in the fridge and cut more weekly.

I feed about 4 -5 of them a day. They keep the fish full for much longer than flake foods and pellets.
Its my only food now besides the occasional bloodworm and some blanched cucumber.

I drop in cucumber every few days or so for the oto's. But my guppies and corries like to nibble on it while its there. and they get bloodworms once a week for some variety.

I love this food. Everyone is more active and colourful. In better condition. It fattened up the fish that were underweight. And got rid of one of my guppies fatty liver. Which made him look pregnant. I could gush for hours about it. It takes a month or two for the full effects to kick in. And keeps the water much cleaner than flakes.
I really recommend trying it out!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just went through and trimmed the rotala. I also cut back the front of the wisteria as it was encroaching too far forward for my tastes. The parrots feather is going to be needing a trim in a week or so.
I think that this scape will be almost done in about a month. I'm excited.
Went to the only fish store around that carries some more exciting species. Had lots of cool fish.
My friend was sad about my other guppy dying so she bought me a new one. And he has ot be the most stunning guppy I have ever seen. His tail is covered in perfectly spaced even dots in black. His front is bright lime green. His back is super royal blue. His top fin pure white. And the colours on his tail. They fade from purple to blue to yellow to red to green. He looks like a rainbow. I'm super excited.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Well...My friend stopped by and her smartphone camera is 9mp compared ot my 3mp... So these are better pictures. Hope they look ok.

You can't really see my new guppy in the pictures. But there is one guppy picture that blurry.. But you can see the colours almost perfectly.

And another note.. Can I point out what a lovely lovely lovely plant parrots feather is. Its so fluffy and thin and delicate and lovely. But it's also hardy and tough. I wasn't too sure about it when i first bought it. But now I'm really glad I did.

I'm also looking for a plant to put in place of the rock still. If you have any suggestions...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Everything went crazy and got about 5 inches bigger in a 2 week span of time. Which is very fast for my tank. I did a huge trim And cut everything way down. It doesnt look as pretty but it was needed.
In other news. I have cory eggs. I turned on my light to discover my two female cories being pursued by the 3 males. They have been laying eggs all over the plants for hours. It's pretty neat to watch. I have no desire for baby cories so I;m not going to remove the eggs. If some survive to adulthood then I'm ok with them. But no special treatment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i think you should keep the rock there, it looks awesome there. Good contrast of colors
Lol... I totally wish I had seen this before I took it out and smashed it to bits.
I replaced the rock with creeping jenny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Everything just went through a giant trim. Now that all my plants are in I wanna start training them into shape. So now there are all very short.
Now that I have all the plant in place I;m starting to realise what I need and want.
Now that the rock is gone theres a huge problem. theres too much green.. Too much plant... I need a hardscape. I'm thinking of incorporating driftwood and rocks somehow. Still working it out.

I have a problem with my tank. It has fine white caribsea sand. And fine silica sand and aquaclear do not like one another. It continuously gets sand stuck in the impeller and makes a horrible noise. I invested in a intake sponge but they do not make one fine enough to keep out the sand. It did help though.
I think part of the problem is that the intake is right next to the substrate. I might mod it so it is higher sometime soon.

Other than that everythig is going great with this tank.
Oh
except for my evil guppy.
Petsmart gave me a tiny little baby guppy by accident with my ghost shrimp. During that time my 3 male guppies lived in harmony. As he grew he got aggressive. He harasses my poor male guppy all day and I'm just about done with him. I want him out and have no where to rehome him to.
He has ripped him to shred though... I'm considering just putting him in jar till I locate a new home..
 

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any updated pictures? I liked the rock in the beginning but i'd love to see what you've done with the creeping jenny. what would've been nice is if you kept that rock and then added rocks decreasing in size beside the main rock creating a triangular composition. Then for depth you could add driftwood of the same pattern, big getting smaller and smaller to a focal point at about 2/3rds of the tank branching out from behind the rocks. This alongside the great green you have would make a pretty good looking scape IMO
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
any updated pictures? I liked the rock in the beginning but i'd love to see what you've done with the creeping jenny. what would've been nice is if you kept that rock and then added rocks decreasing in size beside the main rock creating a triangular composition. Then for depth you could add driftwood of the same pattern, big getting smaller and smaller to a focal point at about 2/3rds of the tank branching out from behind the rocks. This alongside the great green you have would make a pretty good looking scape IMO
That rock was alot more cumbersome and off putting in real life. But i realise its purpose now. It broke up my scape. Now that I have replaced it with creeping jenny I realise the need for a hardscape.
The tank doesnt look that great right now lol.. The creeping jenny is getting established and everything else looks strange cause of my trim. All short and flat.
Perhaps in a couple weeks I'll take another picture... Once everything looks pretty again lol... I really am trying hard to make this tank look alot bigger than 6 gallons.. but I don't think its going well... lol
I'm gonna collect driftwood and rocks soon to see If I cant save this thing.


I have a question for you. I noticed in your rasbora's edge you had alot of nano fish.
I really want a school (it doesnt have to be tight) of nano fish for my 5.5 gallon. I was looking at the ones you just added into your tank, I have been debating them for a while now. Would you recommend them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I did a large waterchange last week. Everything went downhill form there. I noticed my fish were a little lethargic afterwards. No one was acting funny and there were no signs of anything wrong. But something just felt off the whole week.
but everythign went wrong in the past day.
Last night I fed everyone.. watched them for a while.. Turned off the light and went to bed...
I woke up and went about my day. I've been busy for the past couple days.. I came home and turned on the lights. I run my lights at night. If I run them during the day my fish would cook in the summer.
Anyway... I turned on my lights and saw my new beautiful baby guppy with a horrid case of fin rot that had not been there the day before. I spend alot of time watching his tail before I go to bed and would have noticed.
He was sadly dragging himself across the sand. I was horrified. I looked over and saw my nerite upside down in the sand with itself tightly clamped close. I glance up and saw that my other two guppies were covered in ich. It was then I saw all my cories with red gills sat in the corner gasping and all their top fins clamped down.
My last test kit ran dry and honestly. A proper heater and filter for my other tank came before buying a new one. I also do not have a spare tank lying around.
I quickly called my friend. She drove over with a spare 2.5 gallon a heater and a test kit.
We set it up and quickly started the guppies on salt and heat in the 2.5. I added some medicine in for the one with fin rot and planted it with spare trimming I had lying around.
I put one of my tetra filters on and put some spare media in it.
Unfortunately my baby guppy died soon after. He has his own flower now.
The other two are doing well so far. The blue one (Hades) has his fins clamped and is swimming a little upwards. But otherwise appears fine.
I turned up the heat on my main tank. This tank stays at about 80 as it is.
I know cories are supposed to be intolerant of high temps but these cories lived in 86+ for at least 5 months. Thats just how hot my room gets. And they had a blast all summer. In fact they seem to do better in higher temps than lower. The tank is at 86 now.
Now... My cories had no sign of rot or stress or ich. The only thing was the clamped fin and red gills. So I'm hoping the high temp for a few weeks is enough to stave off the ich till It dies.
I tested the water. Now.. my tap water pH is 8.2. Once my tanks have been running for a while the water stays at about 7.5. For some reason the water in that tank was 6.0.. Possibly below.
I tested my water with her kit right before and after my waterchange last week. And everything was normal. I fed my fish the first two day. I noticed that my main guppy was quite fat (my cories are slow eaters and he gets to their food so fast). So I decided a break was in order. I did not feed them at all since them. In fact lastnight is the first night they have been fed. So I was surprised at the readings. The ammonia ws 8.0, the nitrites were at 2.0, and the nitrates were at 80. That combined with the super low pH worried me deeply.
I did a large water change and my cores are acting much better. Their gills are normal and everyone is acting fine. The fins stayed down for a while but are now all up like sails except one. The levels are much better. Still off of normal but much better.

My problem is I have no idea what could have caused this. And I need to know so that It wont happen again. It is deeply disturbing to me.
As I write this I realise a horrible mistake I made...
I immediately transferred my nerite and ramshorn to my 5.5. They recovered and are crawling around the tank now. But I did not even dip them in cup of water before throwing them in my tank. I hope I did not just transfer Ich to my new tank.


Oddly my otto's are the only ones that seem to be completely unaffected by any of this.
 
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