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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all, I thought I'd post pictures of my first venture into planted tanks. Originally I had purchases live plants in order to promote the health of my fish, but now it has turned into a satisfying hobby in itself.

Here we go. This journal started on March 1, 2007

It first started with some plants in an otherwise dull looking tank. I am somewhat loath to post this pic, as it's rather embarassing. Clown puke blue gravel and live plants do not mix, PERIOD. And yes, the wisteria looks absolutley horrible, because the bottom leaves were all browning and I clipped them all off in a perfectionist rage. Just think of them as palm trees. Don't laugh :hihi:

Current occupants:
1 quarter size angelfish, 1 gold dust molly, 1 siamese algae eater 1 cardinal tetra.



Here we go, some major change. Added in Flourite. Boy was this a pain. The fish most definitely did not like sitting in a 5g bucket for 2 hours. Note this was only taken an hour after putting in Flourite. How is it so clear when I'm only using a Whisper HOB filter you ask? Simple. Because, like an idiot, I decided to use an aggregatting water clarifier. So now, the dust was on my plants, not in the water. :help: Shortly after this, I got my DIY CO2 up and running, as that tubing isn't doing much just hanging there ;) In other news, I had to put a divider up because the molly had her fry (I was at work, and so only managed to save 4 of them). Also added 2 cardinal tetras





Woot! New light fixture for cheap, courtesy of Paypal 15 dollar cash back and Ebay. It's a 28 watt Coralife CF fixture......with 50/50 bulbs. lol. I figured I may as well try them before discounting actinic bulbs. Remarkably enough, through this period, which lasted a week, each of my anubias nana sprouted 2 new leaves. After switching in 6700k bulbs, they stopped. The water is cloudy from my scrubbing the brown algae off of EVERYTHING. They say Flourite does not leech silicated into the water, but I must respecfully disagree. All of the dust gathered on my leaves proved to be a perfect growing area for all the brown algae that subsequently took over my tank. My Siamese algae eater simply couldn't keep up.





At this stage, I had been looking at other people's tanks and realized I needed a groundcover. Esarkipato was kind enough to send me a portion of marsilea hirsuta RAOK, which then took me an hour to plant, since I did not have tweezers in the house :p I also switched to 6700k bulbs and began EI dosing.



Marsilea closeup



New occupants in the tank! The angelfish and siamese algae eater were switched out for 2 otos and a dwarf gourami. Within 24 hours of adding the oto's, my brown algae had all but disappeared :thumb: Green algae appeared on the front glass for a few days, but then went away after I reduced the photoperiod to 9 hours. I can finally sit back and enjoy the tank!

Oto resting on a leaf



Dwarf Gourami



Cardinal tetras (which are finally schooling now that the angelfish is gone)



And finally, my tank :)



I hope you've enjoyed reading this. I know that this experience has been a blast for me. Looking back, I see that this tank has surpassed my expectations, coming from such "humble" ;) beginnings. I have learned a TON about plants in the past few weeks, with the help of this forum and the Barr Report. I've also learned about taking good pictures ;) I will be sure to post updates when my marsilea spreads out and my blyxa and chain sword get big enough to rescape.

Feel free to comment or make suggestions...I'm actually still not quite sure where I'm going with this tank. Perhaps some moss on the rocks? :)
 

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Your background visually distracts from the plants you have in the tank. I would replace that with a solid color or keep it clear. The gravel change has much improved the "naturalness" of this tank. Lovely plant selection too! The swords are beautifully green and full. They definitely draw you eyes to it. Good job! :)

Moss on that rocks would be nice, I wouldn't want to camoflauge it that much. It's a very nice looking rock. Maybe some anubias nanas/petites?? That would accentuate it nicely. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys! I'm going to look into a different background, perhaps a black garbage bag for a subtle crinkly effect? My only concern is that the lugwigia may fade into a dark background. I'm going to be getting rid of the wisteria soon, as I really just had it in for algae control and uprooting it and pruning it is getting to be a hassle. Any suggestions on a lightly colored background plant and a replacement for the wisteria? I kind of want the same effect, a medium height bushy mass in the center. Thanks!
 

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Wow, that is really amazing. Great cahnge that you made in only 3 weeks! The whole tank just looks great. The selection of both fauna and flora are great. Very inspirational thread ;) Looking forward to more updates and great pictures. :thumbsup:
 

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Nice tank! I love how you pulled off the wisteria in your 10 gallon while mine over took the tank and it was way too huge. I guess the key is to keep it at around 5 plants instead of 10 lol. My first plant was wisteria... besides the anacharis that actually melted on me. I don't consider anacharis a plant lol.

Nice dwarf gourami. I've always wanted one but realized it's not the greatest fish for a shrimp lover.

And one thing, I'd take out the background,

And I just realized how you used the divider lol. That's ingenious. Is that supposed to be used like that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice tank! I love how you pulled off the wisteria in your 10 gallon while mine over took the tank and it was way too huge.
Yeah, I guess the trick is to uproot it and cut off the lower portion every once in a while. It sure is a pain to keep in the gravel until the roots sprout though :rolleyes:


And I just realized how you used the divider lol. That's ingenious. Is that supposed to be used like that?
Well, I made it myself, so yes lol :p

Heres a pic from the top. It's just a plexiglass piece with a ton of holes drilled into it for flow. In hindsight I should have drilled more holes or cut out the interior and put some kind of mesh in there, but I did "purge" the space of any growth inhibiting chemicals given off by the fry twice a day. Note how the slots cut into the board for the rubber band are tilted outwards. If you don't do this, the rubber band pops off after a bit. I cut the height so that it wedges itself between the flourite and the top lip of the tank. I kept the fry in there until they were able to fend for themselves.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That is ingenious. Can that be done to divide a small portion for a Betta?

Love the tank BTW.
You can use it for temporary storage, but the dimensions of the enclosure (tall skinny) don't really make them suitable for bigger fish unless you cut a REALLY big piece. At that stage, you are probably better off just putting up a standard divider in the center of the tank, since holes drilled into the board will not provide enough flow for such a larger volume.. You will need bigger holes as well for a betta.

The only reason I used this for fry is:

1) I only had 4 fry
2) Breeder nets are ugly
3) I had spare plexiglass at home, whereas a breeder net costs 12 bucks at my LFS.

Furthermore, I'm somewhat concerned about the visibility of neighbors. You wouldn't want your bettas all smacking into the board 24/7 ;)
 

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You can use it for temporary storage, but the dimensions of the enclosure (tall skinny) don't really make them suitable for bigger fish unless you cut a REALLY big piece. At that stage, you are probably better off just putting up a standard divider in the center of the tank, since holes drilled into the board will not provide enough flow for such a larger volume.. You will need bigger holes as well for a betta.

Furthermore, I'm somewhat concerned about the visibility of neighbors. You wouldn't want your bettas all smacking into the board 24/7 ;)
My friend was thinking about a divider for his 10g. I thought that was kool. I see your point with the visibility and flow.
 

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Hey great looking tank! :) I would say you did an impeccable job planting that Marselia....my first attempt was nowhere near as precise (and with no tweasers, too!!). Just you wait, it will fill in so thick you won't know what to do with it -- it just takes a little while.

I've gotta agree with the comments regarding the background. I just took black construction paper and taped it so it was flush with the glass. Worked well, and it's removable. I wouldn't worry about the ludwigia being lost in the black, if anything it will show it's colors better.

I would definitely swap the wisteria out with something, maybe H.M. (baby tears). Great grower, very hardy. OR, possibly some blyxa japonica.

KEep up the good work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Marsilea Marsilea Marsilea Marsilea ,

I see you got the camera fixed. Looking forward to a trade. Nice setup didn't know this thread existed..:hihi:
Thanks...but...huh? Camera fixed? Trade? o_O

-Ernie - Thanks! I'm gonna get some HM to replace the wisteria (which is growing in wierd directions now) and some weeping moss for the rocks

Update: I've been getting this brown layer over some of my plants, namely the sword and the ludigwia. Thought it was brown algae initially, but it's TOUGH and not removable via towel. Not sure what this is o_O There's also a dusting of the stuff on my anubias, and it scrapes off, but in doing so damages the plant, so I'm just leaving it alone for now.
 

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Thanks...but...huh? Camera fixed? Trade? o_O

-Ernie - Thanks! I'm gonna get some HM to replace the wisteria (which is growing in wierd directions now) and some weeping moss for the rocks

Update: I've been getting this brown layer over some of my plants, namely the sword and the ludigwia. Thought it was brown algae initially, but it's TOUGH and not removable via towel. Not sure what this is o_O There's also a dusting of the stuff on my anubias, and it scrapes off, but in doing so damages the plant, so I'm just leaving it alone for now.
deleted the post thought this was ernies tank.. we are working on a met up... sorry..:hihi:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update:

-Changed background to black. Looks MUCH better. Thanks for the recommendation! The right side appears to be missing something now though. The blyxa needs to hurry up and grow so I can plant them there, heh. The wisteria looks really messy ;)



-Found some ramshorn snails in the tank. Must have hitchhiked off a plant or something. No plants eaten yet :hihi:



Note the anubias curling? What's up with that? :help:
 
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