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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
ok, so this is my 1st planted tank, low tech. no co2. i have 40 watts in a walmart shop light hanging 9" above the tank. 1 daylight/1 plant bulb. dosing about 1/8 cap of flourish 1x/week. i'd like to keep track of the progress and, of course, all opinions and criticism welcome :help:

so far there are 6 guppies (feeders used to cycle the tank)
1 Tetra (forgot exactly what kind)
1 amano shrimp

plants are
java moss - tied to small piece of mopani wood right now
jungle val
mermaid plant
 

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Looks like a great start! But how deep is that substrate? It looks reeeeally deep. I would slope it so that its higher at the back and much lower at the front. That will create the illusion of depth and make the tank that much more interesting.

Also, Id be careful using feeder guppies as cycling fish. Sure, they're cheap, but they're usually also diseased.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
oh god, hope they aren't diseased! they've been in there a while, seem healthy... substrate is 2". i think it looks deeper because of the black frame at the bottom- it blends into the pictures

added 5 neon tetras, Rotala rotundifolia, and a shorter plant ( bad with names- any ideas?) im hoping to use for ground cover, ( i split it into smaller sections and tied those onto weights. i planted 2 of the weighted sections shown in the picture) it's really tall in the front right now, but i kind of want it to spread before trimming it. we'll see....
 

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I like your scape and aquarium, but as an idea, mabey try bringing the piece of driftwood up as a center point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i really like the neon tetras, they school like champs! always sticking by one another. and maybe 2 more of the pristella tetra. def looking to get rid of the guppies :/ not really sure what to do with them though...(ideas?) i'm expecting a bigger, "branchier" driftwood in the mail any day now. (got a good deal on amazon :) ) ultimate plan is a curving pathway that splits the tank into 2 sides with a "woodsy tree-like" feel *crosses fingers*
 

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Sounds cool, keep us posted with your updates! As far as the guppies, maybe your LFS will take them for store credit? I always just end up giving unwanted fish to the local fish club.
 

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That one unknown tetra you have is a gold pristella tetra...supposedly an albino variety of the Pristella maxillaris. I have keep 7 in my 10 gallon. They're pretty hardy fish. I haven't had one die on me yet and it's been almost a year since I got them :icon_surp

Good luck with your tank
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
haha thx raiden, ill see if the lfs i got them at wants them back :) i dunno about credit, they were only 1$ !! i finally discovered that it is indeed a gold pristella tetra after some internet surfing, thx for the backup ID :)
 

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looks good so far, keep up the good work! if i may, here are a few things i would suggest to you:

1. before you get too many plants deeply rooted in the substrate, you NEED to slope the substrate back, so its deep in the back and shallow in the front. I would suggest using an old hotel room key or expired credit card for the job (they also work well for scraping algae off of glass, theyre really very useful things, lol). I know it sounds unnecessary, but you will be really amazed at the difference it makes.

2. make sure that you put all of the tall plants in the very back, the shorter plants in the middle, and the carpeting plants in the front. It will give the tank the illusion of more depth, and you'll love the way it adds to the overall feeling.

3. maybe add in some more hardscape? things like driftwood and rocks covered in moss or anubias or ferns look really cool in any tank. Try to center the piece of DW that you already have in there and moving it around to see where it fits best after you have sufficiently sloped the substrate.

4. you may want to buy some friends for your pristella tetra. all tetras are schooling fish, and will live a LOT longer if there are more of them around. usually you should have at least 6 schooling fish if you have any. obviously don't add too many fish too fast, but once you're tank is cycled enough to handle more fish, definitely find more pristellas, and maybe even another neon or two.

btw, what is that substrate? its really so clean looking, it makes the tank look really cool. You've done a great job looking into this stuff and finding the right substrate and lighting and all. keep it up! :hihi:
 

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haha thx raiden, ill see if the lfs i got them at wants them back :) i dunno about credit, they were only 1$ !! i finally discovered that it is indeed a gold pristella tetra after some internet surfing, thx for the backup ID :)
:thumbsup: no problem

Maybe you can swap it with the lfs for a neon tetra
 

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oh and also, load your pictures onto Shutterfly and then copy and paste the image address into the 'upload image' box on PlantedTank (looks like a mountain with a yellow background in a box), so then you don't have to "attach" each image individually. it makes life much easier lol :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thx demosthenes :) i was beginning to wonder why this seemed like such a slow process to upload multiple pictures at once haha.
yes, i really do need to slope the substrate, considering a rescape upon arrival of the new drift wood. not looking forward to another trip out to phoenix for more moss :/ it's like a 40 minute drive ugh... for 2$ of moss haha.
the substrate is flourite w/ black marine sand on top, they are slowly but surely starting to mix together as i plant things, which is good because i didn't like the solid two-tone look it had before.
btw: anyone have any ideas or have pics of things they have used to create a "pathway" type look? better to leave it clear of plants? line w/ rocks? pebble river type thing?
 

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I had a pathway made using flash guards, small flat piece of alluminum from hardware store, and then put white rocks or sand in the middle. Rocks were better for the mulm from plants not visible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ok, so i my driftwood finally arrived, it doesn't have any branching like i'd hoped, but it inspired me to do a complete re-scape. put in a slight slope towards the back, nothing too noticeable, but it does make a difference! i split alot of the bunched plants into smaller sections and the number seemed to double!! alot of the roots of the plants had this black slimy stuff on them..what is this? i wiped it off all them and gave all the plants a good trim.

thx for posting that pic hilde :) i like it. im planning to put a path running under the small DW once i figure out what i want to make it out of.. ideas/critiques welcome! :)


 

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Here is how 1 began by dg2606 at Aquascape forum


To avoid a complete cycle you could push the front to the back and part the area you want a path. Then add more where you want a hill. I found after I got it set up the the hill is actually half the height I thought I had built it up too.

You could use the flash guards to keep the dirt up as I did here. Behind the rock is the metal. Just more dirt over it to make it look sloping.
 

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It looks pretty good! I've never made a path, but it sounds like Hilde's given some good ideas, I know a lot of people use plastic (or another material) dividers to help keep the 2 substrates separate.

As for the moss, you could always check out the swap and shop on this forum to save you the 40 min drive (might save you $ too because of the gas $ especially if you find a RAOK (random act of kindness) ;))
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
ooh. good idea karackle, haven't checked out the swap and shop here yet. ok, ill have to look into some sort of flash guards..
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Time for an update! running DIY co2.. seems to be going OKAY. ( not fabulous) fish seem very happy, plants seem, well, tolerant. but there does seem to be noticeable growth because i've had to trim the tall val twice now, and the 'mermaid' plant is budding new leaves at the top :)
 

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When I saw that bunch of glosso in the first couple posts I immediately knew where you got it from. I picked up some from that same place even though only the new tips were still green. Looks like yours is doing alot better!

As for driftwood, uh, we kinda like live in the manzanita state. Next time you're driving through Pine, stop for a moment to gather some wood. You'll find that branchy piece in no time. Sell a box of wood on these forums to fund said trip. :icon_smil

Tank looks good. Keep feeding those yeasties!
 
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