The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

Registered
Joined
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I recently joined this forum so I thought I would share with you my story and most recently completed project.

About 10 months ago my sister got a betta fish in a 4 gallon aquarium. This sparked the memory of my first ever fish tank. A ten gallon aquarium in which we had several generations of guppies and endler guppies, a ravenous dwarf gourami, and a lonely otocinculus. I know, I know, there were so many problems with it, but I was 8 and... Yeah... It was chaos.

But, despite the hectic nature of my aquarium, I spent hours pouring over aquarium books and articles imagining how much better if a tank I could create. But alas, eventually we got a leopard gecko and I moved on from aquariums.

That is, until my sister got a betta. Still deathly afraid of keeping aquatic plants, I helped her plan out a plastic plant jungle, and when it was completed, I know it had bought an obsession. Over the next few months I researched everything I could find about aquatic plants, water chemistry, fish care, and biological filtration. And I decided I wanted a discus community tank.

As I am sure you all know, discus need quite large aquaria, and it takes a fair bit of work to convince you household to let you put thousands of pounds of water in the home.

So, to prove my dedication to the hobby before campaigning for a 75g, I built a small, 5 gal cube aquarium. I loved rimless tanks but noticed their steep price tag, so I picked up some free window glass I found on ebay, grabbed some silicon, and got cutting.

It was much harder than I thought, and the aquarium is far from perfect, but... It worked! A rimless tank for less than $10 (USD). I set it in my room, got a cheap desk lamp, and got scaping.

1027968

The result was... Okay. At least for my first real scape. It was largely composed of various Anubias glued to a dragon rock mountain. I just used a fine gravel, so I primarily used epiphite species, but I thought I would try my luck with a tissue culture of bacopa carolinia (A few of them grew, but most are just surviving). I also put in some really nice looking manzanita branches we had had in the house for a while. But, when they were submersed they quickly became fungus-ridden and rotted.

Planting aside, I bought 4 Chili Rasboras a pea puffer. They get along very well, that is until I feed the puffer a bloodworm and all the rasboras try to get a piece 馃槈.

1027969

Now the tank is doing well (it has been set up for about 5 months), as you can see I added some java fern but am having a serious diatome outbreak. I put a couple of baby ramshorn snails in (expecting the puffer to eat them) but instead they grew up and have been helping the algae issue.

Regardless, I will be rescaping it here soon and possibly moving the rasboras. I think what it was lacking was a big quantity of stem plants to absorb excess nutrients and fill up the background.

However it was enough to show my family the wonders of aquascaping and convince them to get me a 75 gallon aquarium. I will try to add a link to it's tank journal once I start it.

Well, there you go. That's how I got into aquariums. I only have a total of 4 aquariums and only a year of experience, but I sort of dove in headfirst and spend hours each day researching and thinking about aquaria. So you'll probably be hearing more from me!
 

Registered
Joined
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well guys! I have just finished setting up my most recent project so now I am beginning to plan this rescape. What do you guys think I should do? I have thought of doing the same thing but with a real substrate and loads of stem plants in the back, but I also am considering an entirely new setup! I could do a blackwater scape, or jungle aquascape with some mopani wood, or pretty much anything else. I am open to ideas! Mainly I want this to be a low-maintenance tank. I think by the time I rescape I will move the chili rasboras that currently live in the tank. New tankmates I have been considering are an oddball setup with an African dwarf frog and horned nerite snails, but once again I am open to options, Any ideas?
 

Registered
Joined
2,141 Posts
I think an african dwarf frogs and horned nerite tank would look pretty cool. You're going to want to include calcium in the snails diet if you do a true black water set up a their shells won't hold up at all in acidic water.
 

Registered
Joined
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, great to know! What do you all suggest for decor/ scaping style in efforts to be low-maintenance? I have considered blackwater because any algae or mulm would just blend in, but I have also considered a full planted tank in hope that there will be enough plant mass to outcompete any algae or toxins.
 

Registered
Joined
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think an african dwarf frogs and horned nerite tank would look pretty cool. You're going to want to include calcium in the snails diet if you do a true black water set up a their shells won't hold up at all in acidic water.
By the way PlinkPloop, I started a thread on calcium for snails here. I have some snails in a different tank that need it but I wasn't sure how to add calcium. Feel free to add your thought there:
 

Registered
Joined
2,141 Posts
Blackwater is a very tricky thing to accomplish properly, as is traditional fully planted. Blackwater tends to be relatively unplanted and there's a lot more parameter tracking required until you've got your routine dialed in. On the other side of the coin is the fully planted where your parameters tracking is based on your plants stock and not so much interested in creating a biotope.

As for calcium and adding it to their diet- you can crush eggshells and blend it your snails favorite greens and use gelatin so it can solidify, freeze and feed it to them from time to time. There's probably snail food that has minerals and stuff specifically for snails but I've used this for my blackwater snails and it's worked fine.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top