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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been out of the hobby in a way for several years now. Still maintained a tank hit it was in severe disrepair. Algae laden, decaying driftwood, stock had dwindled over the years, CO2 hasn’t been run in probably 4 years. I finally decided to pretty much start from scratch.



This was before the overhaul. Fluorite dark, Malaysian driftwood. Some crypts that were not thriving.


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Discussion Starter · #2 ·


This is the progress after the redo:

Substrate- Eco-Complete
Hardscape- manzanita driftwood
Filtration- Fluval 306
CO2- GLA regulator, inline atomic diffuser, 2 bubbles/sec
Ferts- EI
Light- Finnex Planted+ 247 CC

Flora-
Anubias barteri var. nana petite
Anubias barteri var. nana
Anubias barteri var. coffeefolia
Anubias barteri var. golden
Anubias minima
Anubias barteri var. nana petite white
Anubias jalapeno
Cryptocoryne wendtii green
Cryptocoryne wendtii bronze
Cryptocryne lutea
Cryptocoryne lucens
Cryptocoryne spiralis
Cryptocoryne balansae
Cryptocoryne parva
Microsorum pteropus
Microsorum pteropus ‘trident’

Fauna-
Harlequin rasbora
Cardinal tetra
Marbled hatchetfish
Peacock gudgeon
Clown pleco
Brustlenose pleco
Amano shrimp

I have more plants on the way: a few rotala sp. and a couple other stems.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·


The wood if finally water logged enough to stay on the bottom. Got a shipment of stems in now too so it should really start filling in quick soon.

Plants:
Anubias coffeefolia
Anubias nana
Anubias nana petite
Anubias jalapeño
Anubias minima

Crypt parva
Crypt lutea
Crypt lucens
Crypt balansae
Crypt spiralis
Crypt wendtii green

Blyxa japonica (if it survives. It came in looking pretty rough)
Heteranthera zostefilia (probably dead from shipping but we’ll see)
Myriophyllum mattogrossens
Mayaca fluviatalis

Ludwigia repens
Ludwigia peruensis

Rotala rotundifolia red
Rotala nanjeshan
Rotala hra
Rotala wallichii

This will likely not be the final lineup. Way too many species in here at the moment but I want to see how the various stems look once they grow in and decide which ones I want to keep in there and which ones I am pulling. I’ll probably keep it to 3 to 5 stem varieties when all is said and done but we will see.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So I decided to bite the bullet and make a change. Swapped out substrate from eco-complete to Fluval stratum. Did a bit of rearranging as well. I took out a couple of the driftwood pieces that didn’t seem to be adding much to the layout. I took this opportunity to rearrange the anubias and Java fern and glue them right where I wanted. I had to sacrifice a lot of leaves on the anubias. Apparently had a breakout of anubias rot after had to cut the rhizomes before it affected the whole plant and ruined them all. I have more stems coming next week which should help fill out the back. I also have more crypt parva coming so hopefully I can get a nice carpet going.




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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

1 week later. Plants are settling in nicely. Ive decided to do a nature/Dutch hybrid in this tank now. The more I looked at the lines the better idea I got for what I want it to be. Got a huge plant shipment in today adding heteranthera zosterifolia, hemianthus micranthemoides, rotala rotundifolia “green”, and adding more ludwigia repens, lidwigia peruensis, rotala wallichii, mayaca fluviatalis, rotala rotundifolia “red”, rotala H’ra, and myriophyllum mattogrossense. I also have lots more crypt parva I need to get planted to try to carpet the front. If the crypt parva doesn’t work out I may end up scrapping that idea and try my hand at staurogyne repens.

I’m amazed at just how much the myriophyllum took off. All the other plants still appear to be adjusting to submerged growth and aren’t particularly pretty or growing with vigor yet. Now that I have the substrate I want and the fertilization regimen (EI) going, CO2 dialed in (3 drops a second to keep drop checker green), and a slightly brighter light (Finnex Planted+ HLC) we will see what I can achieve. If I need to put both the HLC and SE fixtures on to get the right lighting intensity I may do that, obviously wouldn’t run both of them at full intensity if I did do that. The rotala wallichii is starting to color up now though so I may be good with the current setup.


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The tank looks great! I can’t believe the transformation in just 3 weeks. We’re you seeing something that made you want to switch to the Stratum over the Eco? I have a few planted tanks and I use BDBS in them with pretty good success. My water is liquid rock, so I’m afraid a Ph swings with water changes and wearing out the nutrients in the substrate too quickly. Best of luck with tank and welcome back to the hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The tank looks great! I can’t believe the transformation in just 3 weeks. We’re you seeing something that made you want to switch to the Stratum over the Eco? I have a few planted tanks and I use BDBS in them with pretty good success. My water is liquid rock, so I’m afraid a Ph swings with water changes and wearing out the nutrients in the substrate too quickly. Best of luck with tank and welcome back to the hobby.
Thanks! I can’t wait for the rest of the stems to acclimate and start filling in.

The more I was reading about eco complete being relatively inert and the benefits of a nutrient rich aquasoil like ADA, tropica, or Fluval, etc. for feeding the roots well I decided to give it a try. Plus I kinda like the darker substrate look anyways. I had wanted to use Fluval initially but decided to try to save money. You see how that turned out... . I do feel like I was seeing slower growth from the heavy root feeders (crypts, blyxa japonica) I do feel like I’m seeing better growth in those since changing to the Fluval but that could be placebo effect.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·


Another week down. I did add the extra light (now running finnex planted+ CC SE and planted+ HLC with RBG at 100% and white lights at 70%). This is giving me a better color cast that I much prefer as well as I’m getting some really nice pearling going in the evening hours. I have seen no increase in algae at this point. I have also not seen any improvement in the red colortation in the plants but many of them still seem to be adjusting after transport. The crypt parva is still not settling in like I’d like and I’m losing patience. The crypt lucens is also not thriving. My crypt spiralis, crypt lutea, and crypt wendtii green are doing well and shooting out tons of new leaves. The crypt balansae isn’t melting but hasn’t sprouted new growth like the other crypts but I’ll still be patient with it. The crypt lucens may be coming out and possibly the crypt parva if I don’t see some improvement in another week. I’m starting to like the idea of replacing the whole foreground right of the blyxa japonica with staurogyne repens but I haven’t decided for sure yet.

One thing I am struggling with is the rotala rotundifolia red, green, and H’ra want to bend and grow out horizontally rather that produce vertical growth and I’m not quite sure how to remedy this apart from maybe trying some pruning of horizontal shoots.

I’ve now had my peacock gudgeons spawn twice (same male, 2 different females) in the last 2 weeks. I even got eggs on the glass! Unfortunately all eggs were eaten by the tetra and rasboras almost as soon as spawning ended.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·


Photo after this week’s maintenance. Moved some plants around, pulled a couple- crypt wendtii green and crypt parva. Replaced the crypt parva with staurogyne repens which should look pretty good once it gets used to submerged growth. Added rotala macrandra and alternanthera reineckii. I’m trying a variety of red plants before I decide which ones I am going to end up keeping in here.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·


I know it’s been a minute since I’ve posted an update. Life happens and my maintenance suffered there for a couple week. Got way overgrown and ran into some deficiencies and some algae issues. I’ve cut back the lighting and hacked everything back. Pulled a few plant species from the tank and have propagated some others that have been doing well. I’m still thinking of pulling the ludwigia repens a because it isn’t adding much color, it’s bigger than I thought it would get, and it tries to take over everything. I’ve pulled the rotala green, red, and h’ra and have also moved some rotala macrandra to a other tank. I will also probably moved the blyxa japonica at the front left to the right side and fill in the s. repens carpet all the way across the front. The more this tank matures the more I think it is trending back to more of a nature style look.


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