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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Never done a tank journal before so here goes. Tank started out semi planted with fake driftwood and plants. Substrate was black aquarium gravel. Lighting consists of stainless steel 2x32w shoplight with phillips daylight deluxe bulbs(6700k).

Torn down and cleaned, new substrate (STS), real driftwood. Plants as of now are: cabomba, red myro, E. tellinus, and crypts. Lighting has been upgraded with the addition of 2 clamp lights sporting 23w 6500k CFLs. Filtering is handled with a Rena xp3 and 2 powerheads with sponges. Suggestions welcomed, want to keep it medium to low tech for now. plant ideas and donations would be gladly accepted(alot of tank to fill in)LOL.
 

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Looks nice already. That wood is really big. I would cover it with petite anubias.

Any fish at all? or is this a complete start over with new fish as well?

Also I would suggest some type of background, just to clean up the back a little, if you like the brightness you could go with a white or light blue background, I prefer black (boring I know) but best for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That piece of wood was a gift from the better half (any support for the hobby is nice) so I'm gonna make the best of it. I do envision seeing it covered with plants one day. Would be awesome with some xmas moss covering the center section leading up to anubias and ferns of some variety. Probably gonna do a few amazon swords and dwarf sag to help fill in the ends of the tank. Possibly a broad leaf madagascar lace as a center piece.
As for the background, I'm thinking of going with a dark grey. It was black before but I'm looking for a change, although not to bright.
Stocking hasn't been the focus yet, but 100 rummy nose would look great. As always I would love to hear some ideas, suggestions, or awesome acts of kindness thrown at this tank. I'm hoping to make this a 50th birthday present to myself, as I have always wanted a fully planted tank. I will most likely go pressurized CO2 at some point.
Thanks to all who generously give their advise, help, suggestions and such. Also a ton of love goes to the better half for supporting me.
 

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I think it's an awesome piece of wood for your tank. You should get some plants on it. Java fern, anubias, maybe some sort of moss on the tall branch on the left. Your tank is going to look good when it's filled in.
Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nothing new yet. I was wondering if anyone has used American pond weed in their tanks? I have a couple ponds on my property and all of them have some in them. Also have some stuff growing that looks to be hair grass but could be really small cattail sprouts. Anyone use plants from ponds successfully before?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've been looking at the tank and have been trying to picture if the wood would look better oriented differently. Maybe flipped to form an arch, or one end lower and let it climb towards the surface at a corner, or possibly cut it into 2 pieces and add more. Maybe add some large rocks to one end of the wood and scatter a few random pieces along the length?

Any suggestions? Really need some ideas here ,this is a lot harder than it looks to visualize. I've seen the amazing tanks members on here have and I know there is lots of very creative people here. I, myself, am more mechanically inclined, I can see and build just about anything. There is no artist in me.
 

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I've been looking at the tank and have been trying to picture if the wood would look better oriented differently. Maybe flipped to form an arch, or one end lower and let it climb towards the surface at a corner, or possibly cut it into 2 pieces and add more. Maybe add some large rocks to one end of the wood and scatter a few random pieces along the length?
I think you are spot on with all of those ideas. The scape as of now is too left, right, center, front, and back.
If you can, position the wood differently in the tank and take a pic of each layout. That would give us all a better idea. I like that piece of wood because it's different and a challenge to scape with. Anyone can take a piece of manzi and make it look good because it's simple.
I would find rocks from large to small so you could have more to work with.
I would also heavily plant with a big tank and hardscape like that. Pond plants work great too. That's where all these plants come from in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the words of encouragement. I really don't want to cut the wood as it is different from what you usually see. I'll see about doing some rearranging and adding some stones. As for planting heavily, that is my goal. I'm going for not really low tech but not high tech either. I'm working on an easily maintainable tank that falls somewhere in between. For now I'm off to see the stone wizard, and possibly rob some plants from the ponds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Showing some growth. Not sure of exact species.

Known Flora
E. tellinus dwarf chain sword

Amazon sword :melted from H202 bath to remove algae starting to grow new leaves

Cabomba, Myrio red, Crypt wendtii?, a stem of Wisteria and water sprite that got in there somehow, and some duckweed that is slowing gaining ground.

Just added some lily bulbs from walmart today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just a quick update. What plants i have in the tank are showing growth. The amazon swords that melted are putting out new leaves. Crypts are getting bigger.
Seems I have an outbreak of diatoms starting so this weekend will be wipe and water change. I also have got some trimming and replanting to do of the cabomba and myrio.
Still haven't found any rocks I like, but the search continues.
I do have a question for the shrimp keepers. With STS my waters Kh has more than likely dropped to next to nil and the Ph is at or near 6.4, Gh has remained fairly constant in the moderately hard range, would this work for ghost shrimp? I ask because I would like to get something in the tank to help with cleanup. There are a few pond snails in the tank that seem to be healthy and happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update ..... Removed wood, just didn't look right to me. Will be picking up new wood tomorrow. Did some trimming and replanting. Will be painting the back today, gonna be a greyish black. Added a few cuttings from some kind of weed that was growing submerged in my bird bath, don't know if it will actually last, but we'll see. All other plants seem to be growing well, although slowly. Still haven't found any rocks that excite me, plenty of choices but nothing that's caught my eye.
Here are the pics......If anyone can identify the plant under the filter it would be nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quick update: Painted the back, plants standout a little better now. Added some more plants, some ludwigia and rotala , if I identified them correctly.
 

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You are making progress although removing wood looks like it was a step back. Painted back wall looks good. I would look into stone yards around you and get couple big rocks for cheap although I would wait for the wood to show up first before investing in rocks. Also look into vallisneria species they are fairly easy to grow and they should do well in your tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
small update : added some more rotala and ludwigia. The CFL on the right is a 16w 3000k? has more of a reddish glow to it. I'm trying to figure out if it looks better, seems plants are growing better under it but could be they are just getting leggy trying to reach the light. Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The wood would look good covered like that. Unfortunately the wood had some issues with splitting and some rot. If I could use it like you have shown, it would take massive amounts of anubias to cover, it was nearly 5 feet long.
 
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