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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I have a couple threads on this tank already. One for the controller build, and one for the hardscape. The tank has been planted, and now there will be a thread on the journey to perfection! Ha, maybe just to satisfaction :tongue:

Planting went fairly well. I bought the majority of the plants from a large website, and (what I believe is probably standard) quite a few plants came grown emersed. So, I am prepared for my tank to fall apart before it bounces back. No biggie, as it's taken me roughly a year to get to this point and I am willing to be patient. So, here are a couple pics of directly after planting:

Full tank shot:



Closeup of left side:



Tiger Lotus Red bulb. This thing looks like it came from the movie Cocoon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So, I've been seeding my tank by squeezing my prefilter from my long established nano into the tank daily. Today I just swapped the prefilter over to the new tank and am letting it run. Things seem to be moving along nicely. Todays parameters:
PH: < 6.0
Nitrites: > 5
Nitrates: 20-40
Ammonia: > 8

The nitrites bottle was a super deep purple, so bacteria are munching away on the ammonia. It'll probably be awhile before the Amazonia stops leaching the Ammonia, especially with the amount I used. Getting some cloudiness from bacteria bloom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pests

Well, along with my plants came at least one ramshorn snail, what I think is a MTS, and at least one scud. I am not happy about the scud situation, and I found a clutch of ramshorn eggs already. Since the tank is currently unoccupied by any fish, and will be for awhile while it cycles, now is the time to eradicate these things. I am thinking I am going to try soda water as a treatment for starters. Going to dump probably a liter or 2 of soda water in with the filter off and see what happens.
Stupid scuds... :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Result

I added a 2 liter bottle of Sparkling Seltzer Water from Frys, left the filter running. Once added, a scud took off like crazy and was swimming around. I nabbed him with a turkey baster. A couple minutes later, I saw a Ramshorn snail making a beeline for the top of the tank. He has been removed. I saw what I think was a baby MTS, but instead of heading upwards I think he burrowed into the dirt. Maybe he lived, maybe hes fertilizer... About 5 minutes in I saw what I think was a Callamanus Worm making for the surface. He was removed with the turkey baster as well.

It hasn't been long enough to see the full effects, but my first impression is that adding soda water is a valuable tool in removing unwanted critters. Obviously, I am dealing with a brand new tank with no "wanted" inhabitants. But it did stir up the snails, and an unknown worm. All my plants are now covered in micro co2 bubbles, which seems would be beneficial. I took a PH reading directly before adding the soda water, and my PH was already around 6.0, which is as low as API tests go. So I'm not sure how much PH was affected. Time will tell how things turn out.

I will be doing a 25% water change later tonight. If there are no ill effects, I will probably do this again in a couple days to see if I can root anything else out of the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Rolling with the blows

So, It's now been a week since the tank has been planted. In that time, all but one stem of the Pink Hippo Grass (Limnophilia hippuroides) disintegrated into pulp, and the Cabomba Furcata didn't do so hot either. I am attempting to save the single stem of Pink hippo and a couple stems of Cabomba. All told, I am somewhat OK with it, as I prefer to have the left side of the tank opened up, and allow some swimming space for future inhabitants.

The H.C. has melted and started making a comeback. I believe it was grown emmersed, so that is expected.

The Staurogyne Repens is taking off like crazy, as is the Tiger Lotus and Crinum.

I think that some Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini' may look good in between the Blyxa. Any opinions?


Full tank shot


Left side HC


Blyxa's new home


Crinum and the lone survivor of Hippo Grass


Frogbit, some Xmas moss, and Ray2 + mod reflection
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Updated pics

The tank is coming along nicely. I have had a snail explosion in the past week and a half. I have tons of bladder snails and ramshorn snails. I found one empty MTS shell in the bottom of the tank, but haven't seen any crawling around. Maybe they're in there, maybe not. I believe a couple assassins snails will love it in this tank!

Since the last update, I have planted some althernia reckii mini in front of the blyxa and the dwarf HC has melted away and then bounced back nicely.

The cabomba furcata has popped out a couple flowers, however it is not becoming very red so far. The tops have some color to them, but it seems to color up, then fade. Maybe its because it is flowering, or maybe its because the Ray2 is light on the red spectrum? I have quite a few red plants in this tank, so I think I will add some Fe to the CSM+B mix and see what happens.

Top of the Cabomba. Just slightly red


Photo of the flower. There are a few more starting to show right at the node.


Dwarf HC filling in


Shot of the Dwarf HC, A. Reckii 'mini', Staurogyne Repens, and Erios.


Red Tiger Lotus has really taken off. It has probably 10-12 leaves, and has branched off of the main seed and re-rooted itself. Echinodorus 'Altlandsberg' is starting to shoot out some reddish leaves, but it could use some more color as well...


Current full tank shot:


Corner shot:


Top shot:
 

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I'm loving that Crinum man! I have an Aponogeton crispus that I'm using to achieve the "tall, crinkly plant" effect, but I might just buy one of those myself :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm loving that Crinum man! I have an Aponogeton crispus that I'm using to achieve the "tall, crinkly plant" effect, but I might just buy one of those myself :p
Thanks! I really enjoy that plant, it adds some nice texture to the tank. It has adapted pretty well so far. I have it planted straight into the soil, and that seems to be OK so far.
 

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I knew it had to be something strong, I didn't think it was T5's. The tank is coming along nicely, I think the HC Cuba will carpet very well. You're getting the random HC Cuba stems popping up, it's on it's way to a fine carpet.

It weird but I had literary the same types of plants when I started out. The Blyxa, HC, S.Repens, all great choices!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I knew it had to be something strong, I didn't think it was T5's. The tank is coming along nicely, I think the HC Cuba will carpet very well. You're getting the random HC Cuba stems popping up, it's on it's way to a fine carpet.

It weird but I had literary the same types of plants when I started out. The Blyxa, HC, S.Repens, all great choices!
I must applaud your great taste in plants then! :proud:

I have a feeling that the HC cuba won't stay forever in this tank. I used to have some in my Fluval Edge, but cleaning it out of that tank after trimming was infuriatingly difficult. With this scape, I can see the trimmings getting stuck in the driftwood, which after a few times of cursing and chasing them around I will pull it all up in a rage. I will give it a good chance to prove me wrong though :smile:
 

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Hahah, I wasn't the first one to have that combo of plants. It seem like everyone goes for those plants because... they're beautiful!

And yes, you're right about the HC Cuba's longevity. It eventually uproots after becoming too thick. Speaking of similar taste, I too have a Fluval Edge. I guess I don't have to tell you about the rage inducing Fluval Edge trimming. It's crazy hard to trim in that tank, probably the hardest tank to set up with aquatic plants.
 
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