***UPDATES on 2nd page*** So I've had this tank up and running for 3 months now. I decided I'd post the whole journey so sit back relax and enjoy.
20H Tank(and some fish) I got from a friend welcomed me back to the hobby after many many years of absence. I used to bread tetras as a kid. Never had any plants. Another friend convinced me to dive in head first.
Light: Finnex Planted Plus 24"
Filter: Biowheel 150
Substrate: Mr. Aqua Aquasoil
Flora: Anubias Nana
Anubias Nana Petite
Assorted Bacopa variants
Japanese Moss Ball
Some other stems and a crypt
Fauna: 1 Boesmani Rainbow
2 tiger barbs
1 Buenos Aires Tetra(RIP)
1 Leopard Cory Cat(RIP)
1 Blue Paradise Gourami(RIP)
2 Dwarf Gouramis
2 Amano Shrimp
01/27/14: Initial Setup
My driftwood was still floating. The next day some minnows were added for cycling purposes.
FTS of what my initial "scape" looked like:
01/29/14: Cabomba losing its leaves.
02/01/14: I add S. Repens, Anubias Nana, Amazon Sword.
Water parameters: pH 6.4, Ammo 4ppm, Nitrites .25ppm, Nitrates 5-10ppm.
Val is melting.
Closer shot of S. Repens. Cabomba still looks bad.
Everything seems to be growing. Cabomba is making a comeback, although the bottom leaves are not.
And the first diatoms appear.
Water parameters: pH 6.0, Ammo .25ppm, Nitrite 5ppm, Nitrate 0ppm
02/17/14: Did someone say Jungle Mish Mash?!?
A fellow board member and long time friend RAK'd me with all kinds of goodies. There are no fish in these pics because the Friday prior to leaving for his place I did a water change and forgot the Prime. Never again! But he was kind enough to give me a few shrimp to play with until the fish I was being given arrived.
Water parameters: pH 6.0, Ammo 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 40.
03/09/14: the friend who gave me the tank was moving out of state so he had some fish to give me as well. They were given to me on 02/27/14, but here's the first pics I took. As you can see, the Boesmani is quite large and probably too big for this tank. And you can notice I added some Christmas moss to the driftwood.
Blue Paradise Gourami
Water parameters: pH 6.0, Ammo 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 20. My parameters stabilized here and this is where they sit currently.
Growth looks good. I believe I was using Excel at this point but can't remember. What's left of the cabomba is looking pretty good. All fish are healthy. I added the Nerites and Otos at some point around this time to deal with algae.
Blyxa is looking good. Sorry for poor quality pic. Should've turned off the filter. You can also see the crypt in this pic.
03/24/14: Weird white dots appear around the substrate. I'm assuming they're eggs of some sort. Any help IDing would be appreciated.
03/28/14: I do a cleaning and water change to prepare for a weeklong trip with nobody to supervise the tank. I put one of those slow release food tablets in there hoping that will suffice. The cabomba is on it's last leg and I end up removing it on my return.
You can see those white dots if you look closely.
*BONUS* 03/30/14: the friend who gave me the tank and fish got a new tank in his new place. Say hello to Chuck Norriss.
I return April 4 to a tank full of live fish. And a tank full of algae. It seems those slow release tablets might promote such things. Oh well. I do a 50% WC and Excel treatment and everything is ok. BUT, I have to move apartments on 04/12/14. This would prove to be a challenge. Most of my plants are doing well. But the s. Repens has seen it's better days and the microswords are just meh. It's not spreading. It collects all sorts of mess and I generally am getting tired of it. It's not doing what I wanted it to do. I should mention that I have not trimmed the plants at all. I'm sure that has something to do with it. All of the fish survive the move, but I believe my Blue paradise Gourami got a bacterial infection because her stomach got very large and ended up dying 04/20/14. A couple days later I got the male/female pair Dwarf Gouramis. I'm a big fan of them. And yesterday I woke up to my Cory with one eye bulging out of his head. He did not look well, was swimming erratically, and died later in the day. Not sure what could've caused either fish to suddenly come down with something and die. My water parameters are extremely stable. I didn't end up taking any pics of them while they were in these states so that's not helpful. All the other fish seem to be doing just fine though.
FTS as of 04/20/14:
The blyxa isn't doing so hot either, but I've reinstated an Excel regimen so that should help. Now that I'm all settled in the new place, I hope to nurse everything back to vibrant life. Still have those white dots. And here's a pic of my male dwarf gourami.