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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Started Planning for the tank since Dec 2012. Finally decided to make a Journal to record the progress here.

12-30-2012

I have been reading about El Natural for a while and finally decided to setup my first tank. (Christmas Bonus certainly helped
)

I am gathering all the materials and so far i have the following:

ADA 60H (24"W x 12"D x 18"H)
Ray 2 7000k LED light
Eheim 2211 filter for water flow
DIYing a ADA wood stand, in the process of sanding it.
MG Organic Choice Potting Soil
Eco-Complete on top of the soil (like the black color)
Found a nice looking driftwood somewhere in Everglades. I'll probably place it like the photo below:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
1-1-2013

Started my first day of wet-drying the MGOC, I will take it slow and easy..
Just sanded and sprayed the waterproof seal to my DIY ADA stand, here is a pic:

Can't do much about the fish tank until the stand is ready

2-19-2013

Finally finished the stand!
I have been working on the MGOC more than a month. However it is still forming smelly bubble to the water surface. I am gonna use it anyway...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
3-1-2013
The tank is up!


3-5-2013
White mold started show up on my driftwood...


3-12-2013
Water quality was bad... even black mold showed up on the wood... time to redo the tank!
photo before taking it down


Planted glosso on the soil while the driftwood is being scrubbed, boiled and baked.
(later noted: having some glosso in a bunch was not a good idea...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
very nice work on the stand.
always intrigued with the el natural method..
excited to see how things turn out....
Thanks! As of today my tank is in a good condition i think. Only has a little green spot algae and green hair algae. Water parameters have been good. Thinking of mixing some DIY CO2 into the El Natural method to see what will happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
3-17-2013
Put back the driftwood into the tank along with some java moss, Christmas moss and giant hair grass. Added two Amano Shrimps to help keep the tank clean.


3-19-2013
Added Madagascar Lace and Hungarian sword, 2 guppies, 2 neon tetra(1 got eaten to the bone the next morning...), 2 otos, 8 fire red shrimps and 6 CRS. Bubbles popped out from the soil once a while. I started poking the soil with a stick everyday. The Stainless Steel intake guard is so ugly in the tank so I took it out.


3-25-2013
One more neon tetra and a guppy died. Tested water and nitrite was like .25ppm. Did 25% water change. Two days later the guppy killed 1 of my CRS so I moved him away from this tank. Added java fern, anacharis, dwarf penny wort and wendtii sword.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
3-30-2013
Now I have in total 5 clown killifishs & 4 Amano shrimps. The tank started to have green spot algae on the glass. I just scrubbed the tank, cleaned the filter and did a 40% water change. To reduce the protein film I made a DIY skimmer for my lily pipe.


4-3-2013
The Anacharis and Madagascar Lace have been growing nicely.
Added Ludwigia Sp Red, a short version of unknown red sword plant, and Subwassertang.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
4-14-2013
My clown killifish spawned on Sunday morning! I felt like a proud daddy!
WOW, Purigen made a big difference to the water, my tank is so clear!
Took out frogbit for my first RAOK. I am still deciding how much I should add back to the tank. Added few plants but I have to identify their names... I have in total 22 kinds of plants now, I think my plant collecting addiction can stop for now.
 

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Looking great. I like the looks of the left side of the tank, nice choice of plants. The right side is ok, I would remove the really tall plant and add some more of the red plant in the back right corner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looking great. I like the looks of the left side of the tank, nice choice of plants. The right side is ok, I would remove the really tall plant and add some more of the red plant in the back right corner.
Thanks! For the right side i am waiting for the Madagascar Lace to grow more to become the focal point. My mrs. Might want to add some crabs, so I am keeping the anacharis super long in case she picks crabs that need air from above water. Adding some red sounds nice too, I may consider that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Came back from a 1 week vacation and the right side of the tank is out of control. Decided to do a tank makeover.
Before
Aquatic plant Aquarium decor Freshwater aquarium Pet supply Fish supply

After
Organism Aquarium decor Glass Aquatic plant Pet supply

During the makeover I finally was able to count all the shrimps. Only 2 out of 9 CRS survived :-(, RCS, pumpkin, snow and CBS are all doing fine... My clown killifish must love CRS for their taste?
 
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