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799 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, my first attempt at aquascaping in my 10 gallon failed due to tons of algae and a nitrogen cycle crash due to an accident on my part :icon_sad:. So, with equipment from my 10 gallon, I switched filters between my 5.5 gallon and the 10 gallon to allow the cycle to start back up there, and bring more flow to my new plan for a planted tank.

Normal De-Rimmed 5.5 gallon tank

Eco-Complete seeded with several Osmocote Root Tabs

[STRIKE]Had black lava rock originally, but then I took it out and thought about making my tank a dutch as I obtain more plants. Once I pick up some nice looking nano driftwood pieces, I'll add them to my tank.[/STRIKE]

Several pieces of Seiryu stone

At the moment, the tank includes:
[STRIKE]Rotala Rotundifolia
One stem of rotala green (leftover that I found and saved)
Dying stems of HC (they revived from my old tank, so I'm trying to re-grow them)[/STRIKE]
[STRIKE]Hydrocotyle sp. Japan
Blyxa Japonica
[STRIKE]Bacopa Australis
Staurogyne Repens
Baby Tears[/STRIKE]
Few stems of a Rotala species I do not know of (it's in the middle)[/STRIKE]

Blyxa Japonica
alternanthera reineckii mini
Small patch of HC
Mystery Plant
Hydrocotyle Sp. Japan

Fertilizing Schedule:
Liquid EI dosing with a 50% water change every week. Ferts come from nilocg
Excel dosed during water changes
Co2 turned on an hour before lights come on and an hour before they go off. Should be around 1-2 bps.
Photoperiod goes from 10 am to 6 pm

2-3 Cherry shrimp
1 Amano Shrimp
1 Crystal Black Shrimp

When dosing through this method, I pay close attention to the shrimp to see if they react to the fertilizers. While the micros do contain copper, there is very minimal traces of it so I believe this shouldn't be a problem. However, I lowered the amount of excel I dose in the tank after water changes because the shrimp seem to be bothered by it.

Feb 25:

Water Plant Rectangle Pet supply Aquatic plant

March 8:

Plant Water Plant community Rectangle Botany

Any suggestions on what to do further on the tank? Always open to suggestions :D.

March 19: Came back after Spring Break. Got massive pearling going on after I turned on the Co2

Plant Rectangle Pet supply Terrestrial plant Grass

March 32: Most recent tank shot. Messed around with the angle

Plant Water Pet supply Rectangle Aquatic plant

April 2: Starting to look nicer. Removed the HC because it was growing too much algae with little growth. Getting replaced with glosso soon.

Plant Rectangle Pet supply Terrestrial plant Grass

April 16: Before & After

Plant Plant community Green Botany Pet supply

Water Plant Green Botany Fish supply

May 17:
Most recent tank shot. Really far bad...too lazy to retake a picture hahahaha :biggrin:
Window blind Window Interior design Grey Comfort

· Registered
799 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Left the tank back at school for Spring Break and came back after a week. Blyxa grew without light and so did the Hydrocotyle. I was expecting my HC to die off but it still looks pretty strong even without added light or Co2.

Plant Terrestrial plant Grass Groundcover Flower

As a kid I never saw the plants in my tank ever get this color...

Plant Plant community Botany Terrestrial plant Tree

That blyxa though. I should trim it soon.

Plant Light Leaf Vegetation Terrestrial plant

HC's sorta chugging along. Can't wait for that carpet.

Plant Houseplant Terrestrial plant Grass Aquatic plant

This shrimp is ready to pop soon. I should buy a pre-filter intake from h4n :icon_neut

Again, any suggestions on rearranging plants? :)

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799 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well thanks to a RAOK from fellow planted tank member, Asu1776, I have a few new plants. Got some Ludwigia Sp Red and some alternanthera reineckii mini in my tank now. I have to say, it really makes the tank pop out more.

Plant Green Grass Aquatic plant Terrestrial plant

My rotala sp green's doing this thing where it just decides to bend straight down to the gravel...The rotala rotundifolia in the back isn't doing that. WHY YOU DO THIS ROTALA?!?

Also, some parts of the HC are starting to go blue green in color. There's still some growth though so I'm not really giving up on it.

Plant Plant community Terrestrial plant Aquatic plant Evergreen

I might just get rid of the staurogyne repens. I'm not really fond of it.

Plant Terrestrial plant Aquatic plant Pet supply Wood

Here's a tank shot as of recently.

Plant Pet supply Grass Rectangle Aquatic plant

Started to use distilled water mixed with tap with this tank. I've been getting a few shrimp deaths as of late...

Every now and then I'll spot dose with excel to remove algae. It's been going well.

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799 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So I went to my lfs earlier today. I decided to buy a couple of little guys as an impulse buy... haha

Anyways, here's one of the two Crystals that I found. The owner thought he had sold of them. These guys ended up being the last two in the tank.

Plant Terrestrial plant Leaf vegetable Ingredient Grass

Hope they do alright, gonna see how these guys do in my tank. I'm still waiting on a pre-filter on h4n. The last one was too loose fitting to stay on my lily pipes. I don't exactly have a plan with this tank. I'm just kinda just letting it grow out lol.

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799 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I got rather bored with the tank and decided to try out something new. Since I had several pieces of seiryu laying around, I decided to use those.

Aw yiss, Seiryu Stone. I had a lot. There was this giant rock I had and I smashed it into several smaller pieces to fit the tank.
Grey Linens Ingredient Cuisine Wood

Wood Ingredient Artifact Road surface Dish

I took out all of the plants and ended up putting them into a bucket. LOOK AT THOSE PLANTS. LOOK AT IT.
Food Recipe Ingredient Dishware Leaf vegetable

Here it is half full while I work on adding some of the plants back.
Water Vertebrate Pet supply Fish supply Aquatic plant

Ended up looking like this in the end.
Water Vertebrate Pet supply Organism Rectangle

Sadly, I lost a lot of my original shrimp population, so whatever else I had, I left in this tank. I got more shrimp, but ended up putting those in their separate tank in case something was going on in this tank that was killing them. The paraguard had not done anything to lower the amount of deaths.

Here's a closer picture of one of my crystals. The water is still foggy because of all the substrate movement.
Plant Light Water Terrestrial plant Fin

Whatcha guys think? Did my placement of the stone seem alright? I feel like I could've done better with the placement. Oh well. :hihi:

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799 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cool tank! How do you like that finnex light? Mind linking of for me ?
I think it's a great little light :D. It's strong enough to cause an algae outbreak if I didn't turn on the co2 so be careful there hahaha. I would recommend raising the light up if you don't plan to use co2, or try to get a fugeray as that's better for med light. Anyways it should be easy to find on amazon! It's the 18" model Finnex Ray2 dual 7000k led light.

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799 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
with those stones and the height (low) of the tank, you may want to consider another carpeting plant besides the glosso. I know you've tried HC already, but i would give it another shot since it doesn't grow as high as glosso.
I see. What about Dwarf Hairgrass 'Belem'? Would that work just as well or would that not be a possibility?

I could try HC again, but I'm just thinking of other possibilities at the moment.

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hc takes a lot of patience man it's so frustrating especially getting it to anchor and not float :icon_smil . I would carpet dwarf hairgrass I got that to carpet in a 8 gallon tank in less than a month started shooting runners the first 3 days.
Oh no, it's not that I'm worried about it floating (hell I did have that stage at one point), it's just when I had it, it completely melted, up to the point that only a small patch was left. I still have that patch and I'm growing it. I was planning that if it does manage to start growing, that I'll try and cut the glosso around it so that it has more and more room as it continues.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So after much annoying, pestering, and asking around TPT (sorry to those I pm'd and bothered just to ask for a tiny portion of Eleocharis Belem), I randomly decided to look on Ebay for some Eleocharis. Turns out, I managed to find the amount I needed, just needs about 2-5 days to get here. It was under the label 'Eleocharis sp. Mini' so I was a little sketchy. We'll find out once it gets here. I'ma try and grow it both emersed and submerged in my tank after it gets here.

I also removed the small patch of HC, a small bit of glosso, and a few nodes of Hydrocotyle to try out in emersed tubs. I had some aquasoil lying around so I was using that. :D. I have this 10 gallon tank sitting around so I'ma plan to use that. Picked up a 6500k T8 GE bulb from lowes for cheap. Looks pretty bright for a T8 bulb.

I have like 4 tanks in this apartment...I'm pretty sure my roommates are thinking I'm quite weird...

My dad, and I quote, said "You have too many tanks". Hahahahh this is bad. In any case, no algae problems yet, though I have difficulties keeping my co2 steady with the needle valve on my paintball co2 tank. Almost made the diffuser pop off again o_o".

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, sad news, the crystals died. But on the other hand, I've managed to keep the other cherries from dying, and now they look like they're doing fine. We'll see as time goes by. The amanos in the tank are doing alright. They've just disappearing every now and then, sometimes I just wonder if they're eating anything at all....

Algae's starting to gain a foothold in my tank now, it's been a rather long while since that's happened.

To combat this, I've introduced a clean up crew..
I've bought a nerite snail and 3 otos from petsmart (not bad, they were really cheap and they look healthy :D).

From the looks of it, they did an alright job so far, seeing less algae in the tank. I'm also going to start dosing excel regularly to help aid in reducing the amount of algae in the tank further.

There was a small amount of surface skum that has been building up excessively for some reason, up to the point where it looks like a slight thick film on the top of the tank, so I had to make a quick decision and decided to go to lowes to buy some clear pvc tubing to make a makeshift surface skimmer. Since then, there hasn't been any surface film, but I have no idea why it would end up developing like that.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So it's definitely more than a week ago since I've last updated this journal with pictures. Sorry! I was busy with college and finals were coming up, so I had no time to really do much planted tank journaling. Now I have time, and within the next week, I'm starting summer classes.

Anyways, the tank's been going well nicely, with some algae gaining a foothold in the tank. I've recently dosed h2o2 with excel afterwards to help combat the algae. People were right...glosso sure does grow like a weed, and it definitely is growing over itself. Kinda surprised about that.

Here's a distance shot of the tank. I'm terrible with pictures.

Window blind Window Interior design Grey Comfort

My dad also bought me a regulator and a new diffuser, and I have to say, they're amazing. I'm also able to not worry about having to mess with the needle valve as much, even though it's aquatek. The bubbles coming from the new diffuser are amazing.

Green Fluid Liquid Gas Electrical wiring

Plant Green Water Grass Terrestrial plant

Unfortunately I broke my old bubble of the sides of the bubble counter broke up. So cheap :angryfire. I'm using the bubble counter that comes with the aquatek regulator, and I think it's pretty not want.

I managed to pick up some Eleocharis Sp. Belem, and it's been growing pretty well in the tank. Though somewhat slower than gloss, I'm happy it doesn't grow as quickly as glosso, or I'd have a broken back within the next year :(. It's really green in the picture, and I'm diggin that :proud:.

What's weird, is that I don't think my alternanthera reineckii mini is as red as pictures from others usually have. Is that just me? Do I need to dose more iron, or is it just from my picture quality? You guys can see the green spot algae that's sorta crawling around and creeping in my tank here.

Plant Flower Tree Aquatic plant Wood

The otos hide pretty often, and come out when it's dark. The only shrimp I have left in this tank are the amanos, the cherries all expired sadly. Even after treating the tank with paraguard, they slowly dwindled in numbers and eventually disappeared. Kinda sad about that.

That's what I got for now, somehow managed to get a really annoying cough. Curses! It's almost summer and almost time for my classes..


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