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77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,

I have been working on this tank for about a month now, and I was hoping that I could get some input and suggestions from everyone. I'm not sure what I could do differently, except wait until it grows in. The setup is:

Black gravel mixed with fine grain Instant Aquarium gravel
DIY CO2 right under the filter intake
Every other day Excel
Coralife Full Spectrum Light (looking to switch to Coralife 10k this weekend)

Any help with lighting or more plants or rearranging would be appreciated. Thanks!



1,449 Posts
Looks good, but that sword is already too big for the tank. Just imagine what its going to look like in a few months! If you really want it/like it there, Id pop a root tab underneath it, since you're using an inert substrate.

Good call on the lighting. A cooler bulb will make the greens look greener.

45 Posts
Are you dosing macro-fertilizers (NPK)?? You're gonna need some to
get the plants growing.

As the other poster said the sword is too big for the tank and
some of the other plants also have large leaves.....this makes the tank
look small. You should go with fine leaved plants. For example HM (pearl weed) and/or Rotala sp.

Your gravel is too large...again it makes your tank look small. Go with
a fine grained sand like pool filter sand or 3M colorquartz if you want black.

The sword plant and the main stump are right in the middle of the tank, for
more visual interest they should be placed off of center.

You might want to put a dark/black background on the tank to simulate or
give the appearance of more depth and hide your filter,etc.

The color temp of your bulbs is irrelevant to the plants for the most part. Anywhere between 4 and 10K is fine. The reason most people choose a certain type of bulb is for personal viewing pleasure. (Some people prefer a
yellowish-white or some a bluish-white...or some where in between).

As for CO2...consistency is the key. That's hard to do with DIY. Eventually
you'll come to the realization that compressed is the only way. Once you do
you'll never look back. If you are feeding the DIY CO2 into the intake of a HOB filter, you are probably not getting much of it into the tank. A better
approach would be to feed it into the intake of a submersed powerhead.

You're off to a good start, Keep reading this board, and asking questions......
and you will find success in this hobby.

Hope this helps a little!

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