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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had this tank planted since June. I didn't really do a journal on it to begin with, but considering I'm in the middle of redoing it, I thought I would probably like to keep track of it.

Here are some old pictures, when it was at my old place

The driftwood


The tank quite a bit overgrown


It had a nice carpet of marselia minuta growing in


Can we say overgrown?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here's the equipment:

29 gallon tank
4x 18watt T5NO
DIY CO2, two 2liters
EI dosing, dry ferts
Seachem Iron
Excel

Flora:
Java Fern
Java Fern "narrow leaf"
Anubias barteri nana
Anubias barteri nana "petite"
Anubias barteri "coffeefolia"
Anubias barteri "marbled"
Crypt parva
Marselia minuta
Hydrocotyle verticillata (whorled pennywort)
Rotala nanjenshan
Rotala rotundifolia
Ludwigia glandulosa

After initial planting


After a trip to the LFS
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hooked the co2 up to a powerhead. Works a crap ton better than the chopstick.

So here it is after the latest trim


I yanked out the jungle vals. They just weren't doing good, and were fostering algae.

I also started dosing Excel the day this was taken, and started dosing Seachem iron shortly after.
 

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Algae Grower
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Is there any room behind the drift wood for some stems? That could add a bunch of depth. Looks like you're off to a good start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, there's some space. I have an order from Sweet Aquatics that was sent out today with different stems. When I get the order, much of it will probably end up behind the driftwood.

Thanks for the compliment :icon_smil

The ball of christmas moss that's just kind of hanging out there will get tied to the driftwood. Currently there's some BBA on the wood I'm in the process of cleaning up.

I also have an order from mGamer for some Clithon coronas! :icon_mrgr They are super cute, and should help with the GDA that's developing on the glass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ah yeah, I have to get my background on it. I've been procrastinating on doing that :bounce:

Should look a lot better with more plants and the black background...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I got my shipment of plants today, and I'm disappointed. I ordered it on November 18, and it took to December 2 to get it. Fine, whatever, I don't mind waiting. But they failed to send one of the plants I ordered all together, and then sent this plant as "rotala wallichi".


Yeah, I don't think so. I know what a rotala looks like, and that red myrio. Not what I ordered. I don't mind if they ran out and sent a similar plant, but it was labeled as r, wallichi.

So I'm not ordering from there again. I think I'll stick to my honest LFS and the SnS from now on.

On the other hand, my snails came in today! And I'm super happy with them. Thanks to mGamer for sending some gorgeous Clithon Coronas plus an extra horned nerite. It has red and black stripes, almost textured like snake skin. Pretty cool!







I'll deal with the plants I've received. If I don't like them, they are being trashed. I'll just have to get what I can at my LFS, where I can see first hand what I'm getting. They have a fairly nice selection of plants, so I guess I shouldn't be moping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So I ran out to my LFS to see what other plants I could cram in there, and guess what they had? The stupid rotala wallichi. The real one. They had the plant that I received as r wallichi, and they had it labeled as Red Foxtail. Great, they sent me a cheap plant.

Still not sure what I'm doing with the foxtail yet. I have it now, so I want to work with it, but now I have a good deal of red in my tank. It isn't the prettiest red either. It'll probably end up just hanging out next to the emersed ludwigia cuba for a while until I get my ten gallon up and going.

I'll be actually planting everything on Sunday, which is water change day. I'll update pictures then :)

An update on the snails: I love these things! Not only are they super cute, they are polishing the anubias leaves and tank walls of and GDA/GSA that's there. These guys are real workhorses. They make the ramshorns and MTS look completely useless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
12/5 Update

I got to work planting pretty much everything I got. I decided to leave the Red Foxtail in the tank for now. I tucked it behind the driftwood, so I'll see if I like it when it grows up over it.

I put up a temporary black background. I have to find a more suitable permanent one here soon.

I'm attacking this tank with everything I have! I redid one of my co2 bottles in the middle of the week with a whole teaspoon of yeast. It's producing really well, and I'll change out the other one here in a few days. I also hooked up a separate bottle on the other end of the tank. It now has a total of three two liter bottles. Still dosing with Excel, but there is no algae to really speak of now (knock on wood). I'm going to keep dosing Excel until I get my pressurized set up.

I also started adding Epsom salt to this tank. I did two teaspoons at this water change, and I'll adjust that slowly.

I'm in the process of getting materials to lift my lights off the tank. I'm not getting the light spread I want, and the lights being so close to the tank are causing problems. I want to reduce the light intensity, but not by too much. Also while I'm out at Home Depot anyway, I'm getting the materials to make a RG style reactor.

New flora:
Purple Bamboo
Christmas moss
Ludwigia inclinata var verticillata "Cuba" (maybe)
Bacopa Caroliniana
Heteranthera zosterifolia
Myriophyllum tuberculatum
Rotala wallichii


Pictures
One of these days I'll have a decent camera, not just my Droid.

FTS, still a little cloudy from tearing everything up.


Tied the christmas moss down to one of the piers. I hope this works out to my advantage, I haven't actually done this before.


REAL Rotala Wallichii


Another shot of a corona


The largest ramshorn I've seen. Definitely not as big as they come, but to me he's a beast.


I'll be (hopefully) posting pictures every Sunday to track this tank's progress in weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Small update

I moved what was left of my colony of RCS over to this tank last night. Their ten gallon was still at my parents house (it was supposed to be moved weeks ago, but life got in the way). When I went over to visit with my parents, I checked on my tank and was mortified. Someone had unplugged the filter for whatever reason, and forgot to turn it back on. I have no clue how long that tank went without flow, but the water was stagnant. It smelled on par with sewer water. I was almost in tears, berated myself for not moving them sooner.

Of the hundred plus cherries I had in that tank, I counted 26 (mostly saddled females) that I managed to rescue. Of the twenty CRS I had in that tank, I only found three. One female, two males. The ten gallon is getting set back up for them, to see if they'll make a recovery. The cherries... I saw no reason NOT to put them in the larger tank. The water parameters are perfect for them, the heat is perfect, and the fish are too small to threaten anything but the smallest shrimplet.

So they are enjoying picking around the bottom of the tank, completely unperturbed by the rambunctious Gertrudaes. I guess they aren't afraid of fish that aren't much bigger than they are, even though they have never seen fish before. I'm concerned about my CRS, but there isn't much more I can do for them. Just give them all the TLC I can and hope for the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Since I was tampering with my tank today, I thought I'd to an update.

Flora
I trimmed the plant that was sent to me as Ludwigia Cuba. As of right now, I'm not convinced that's what it is, but it was starting to grow like a weed. I had left it in the pot originally, but the taller stems were nearly at the waterline, so I cut the bases off. I put them in a weight; I'm not sure if they are going to work yet, and if it starts turning into cuba, I want to cut the emersed stems off.

The other plants are starting to get settled in, so I'm feeling better about them. The plant that took the biggest hit when I moved was (believe it or not) the marselia minuta. Of the large carpet I had, I only managed to salvage a few nodes. I was on the verge of just tossing it out, but it seems to be in pretty high demand right now, so I thought I would just try to see what I could get out of it. It took some TLC, a few trimmings to get the old damaged leaves off, and time, but it's starting to boom. I can see several new nodes sprouting up, tons of tiny little leaves peeking out of the Flourite. I knew this plant would do this if it survived, and I'm happy it didn't melt completely.

Marselia minuta is an interesting little plant. When I had it in my previous set-up, it was shaded so much by all the taller plants that it grew to be three, sometimes four inches tall. It got big (by MM standards), with less co2, lights, and nutrients. Now that it's been placed in a nice bright spot in the tank, being blasted with co2 (it's right in the flow), and with a couple root tabs and full EI dosing, it's character has changed so much. It's nodes are growing much closer together, and the leaves are staying much shorter (about an inch). I guess that holds pretty true for all aquatic plants, but with this one the difference is staggering.

Fauna
I think one of my large female RCS hit the Koralia powerhead Sunday night. She's missing a leg and her back looks torn up, but I still see her everyday; she pretty active and comes running when the fish get fed. She looks like she's healing, so I have some hopes for her if she can molt out of it. If not, there isn't much I can do about it.

Misc
I can't wait to get my pressurized co2 going. The DIY worked so well for me with the 10 gallon, I didn't think it would be such a challenge to keep up with on the 29g. My Ludwigias still have curling leaves, but there isn't much I can do about it right now. I need to lift the lights, but without a job, I'm at the mercy of my reluctant fiance for help. I hate asking him for it too; it's my project, not his. He said he would, but as to when is always the question with him. The regulator was the top thing on my Christmas list, and he knows it. But if he doesn't get it for me, I'm getting it myself with whatever Christmas money I hope to have. At least I have a ten pound cylinder, all ready to be traded in, so I don't have to worry about that.
 

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Wow! I wish I could have my 29 as a planted...right now it has tanganyika shellies in it....plus it has hard water stains and the silicon is old so I guess I need a new tank :)

This is looking great! I think maybe moving/adding a red plant to the left would make it look more balanced but even now, it looks great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks everybody! :icon_smil

The snails are awesome. They have polished the anubias leaves. I don't know if anyone else has issue with GDA on anubias, but I sure did. I had been looking for an "acceptable" kind of snail for a while, and I'm glad I settled on these guys.

Caton- I have the so-called L. cuba on the far left in the back, so if it really turns out to be cuba, it'll be a nice splash of red. I'm considering putting some Aromatica in there somewhere, but that will wait until after the pressurized system is set up. I think the purpley color will look nice with the current plants I have in there.
 

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Yeah, I think this tank will be amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah, I think this tank will be amazing.
Thanks! :icon_mrgr

~~~


Due to my two year old daughter not believing in sleep and my fiance's work schedule, I've had quite a bit of time to really break down my ideas on aquascaping. I thought I would write them here, since I'm pretty much just writing out my mind anyway. Remember please, this is MY mind and what I want to do. I'm not knocking anyone's tanks; beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

First off, I don't like the whole "natural" rules. I understand the appeal, but to me this is a glass box and I'm going to use it as such. If I wanted a chunk of a river in my living room, I would have left the tank as it was.

I'm also not overly fond of "themed" tanks, ones with limited numbers of plants. The appeal to me is a nice "clean" tank that I can appreciate, but not overly interesting enough for me to want to stare out everyday. I don't want to memorize every square inch of my aquarium; I would become very bored with it very quickly and would probably rearrange the tank every three months.

Then there's the collectoritis tanks. For some odd reason that I never really thought about, these tanks are the most appealing to me. While some can appear very busy, some look very nice. When I thought about it, I compared it to a salad: I love all sorts of shades, colors, and textures in my salads. I love the different textures and colors of the plants in the aquarium. My tank doesn't glow the same shade of bright green that I find is hard to look at. It has different sized and shaped leaves, giving the tank something that appeals to my eyes and mind. So I may have 20 different species of plants in this tank, but they were carefully hand picked and placed for whatever qualities I've decided I like. I'm not done with this tank yet, not by a long shot. So many different things I want to do with it, so little money to play with :icon_wink

I'd hate to see what I would do to a tank that is bigger. I can't find enough room in this tank for all I want to do with it. What I would do for a nice 75g... That's NOT going to happen anytime soon though. It was hard enough to convince apartment places about a tank this size!
 
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