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low tech 5 needing a revamp

1023 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Kehy
I've had this tank for about 2 years now, and while it's always been nice watching the critters in it, I've gotten bored with the layout. Since I did this as a dirted tank, I've avoided doing a large scale rescape, but I feel it's needed now. I've also had an issue with plant growth slowing down quite a bit; I used to grow crypts like crazy in this tank, but now they're just sitting there being tiny. Only thing really doing well right now are duckweed and anubias, but I really really want my crypts back.

The rocks generally mark the borders of where the dirt is, but I'm planning on at least partially removing the dirt, and finally being able to move them around. There's also 3 chunks of wood in there, but I've never been able to find spots where I'm happy with them. Most of the time I'm looking at the tank through the side/front view, so I put the one piece of wood laying down to be able to watch the critters enjoying the shelter it provides...but it does block the view.

In general, I'm looking to stay low tech, but I'll dose lightly if I have to. I probably have ~2 watts per gallon as far as light goes. I haven't had much luck with stem plants in this tank, but I'd be willing to give them another try. I just need some suggestions on what to do with this thing.

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You could try trimming the java moss on the wood a little bit to encourage it to grow in a little thicker. I think the other plant (java fern) is slow grower so with time it will grow in and look fuller. The crypts usually will melt when moved around a lot and it's a root feeder so the nutrients may have been depleted if your substrate is over 2 years old. You might be able to grow vals too.

Good luck.
THe moss is actually a combination of several types I got from a friend. I know for sure there's flame moss in there, but it hasn't made itself known in this tank yet. I've had both the java fern and the crypts for years, but the java fern is not necessarily my favorite plant in this tank. I'm considering trading it all for anubias because I really don't like it here (or I'll just put it in another tank where it works ok).

As far as why the crypts aren't growing...I specifically went with dirt in this tank because it takes much longer than 2 years to run out of nutrients. I'm thinking that the dirt may have just suffocated the roots of the crypts, so I'm going to try and at least partially remove the dirt. I haven't moved the crypts in about a year, but they stopped really thriving after 9 months. I already do have (shorter) vals in this tank, but again, I think they're an ugly plant here. I'll try and trade them out.
Pulled that one piece of wood in the front, opened up quite a bit of space. I'm thinking that I'll remove all but the biggest/nicest 3 rocks, and maybe remove all of the wood. I want this thing to be a jungle again. Of course, if the vals have anything to say about it, that shouldn't be a problem.
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