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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. This is my first post about the history of my 35g planted cube. It's a Seapora Cube that I picked up from a LFS here in Columbus. I'm still working through a lot of issues, and I'm saving up for a paintball CO2 system at the moment.

Ok, so I started with:

5 anubias nana
1 anubias golden
3 nana petites
9 different kinds of bucephalandra
10 stems of leopard valisneria
3 clumps of java fern
Java Moss
Kleiner Prinz Amazon Swords
1.5 Crypt Wendtii Greens (I say 1.5 because I ordered three and only one had leaves which survived shipping; the other had roots/rhizomes that survived; one turned into mush).

I ordered from Aquarium Plants Factory, and yeah the package containing the plants was delayed. Here are some of the damaged/destroyed crypts.

And the Amazon Sword might have been grown emersed (I'm not really sure). Anyway, here's my tank on a stand. I ended up using 15lbs of sand and 30lbs ofEco-Complete.

I got some driftwood from It was a pretty good value in my opinion. I made a little box with a door and stuck a Penn Plax 600 under it. That way I can just pull the door off too access the filter. As it turns out, I would later just buy a sponge filter and hide it.


I made a tile box for the other side as well and hid my heater. Again, as it turns out, I would be able to maintain 74--75 degrees without a heater, so now it's just unplugged.

The rocks were just some rocks I found in the woods locally, far away from where anyone would have sprayed any pesticides. The scape ended up looking like this, but I failed to note that the gravel would sink a bit when I filled the tank up.


I think it would have been cool if I had managed to keep it a little more trench-like, but that's ok. Maybe I'll redo everything someday.

Then I added in plants, but what I didn't realize was that all of my anubias (and bucephalandra) were inexplicably going to turn to mush in a matter of days. I still have no idea what caused them to rot so quickly. I was able to save some of them by putting them into my 10 gallon tank. For some reason, they stopped decaying then. I'll make a separate post about that tank. It was supposed to just be a quarantine tank, but developed a severe case of MTS and, well, you know the rest.

Here is the tank with all the plants added:


It's weird to look back on this, even though this was just a month or so ago.

Filled up:

Like I said, I had no idea that all of my anubias were about to drop dead instantly. This was after the first 24 hours.


After the first 24 hours...

After the first 48 hours, I tried pruning the leaves that were rotting, leaving just the rhizomes. That didn't work. These were examples of how the leaves just started to rot. The water smelled bad. I still don't know why this happened, unless the plants froze in shipping. I only used Aquarium Co-Op's Easy Green for fertilizer.

So, then the next days I poked the rhizomes with some tweezers and they were mushy too. I removed them, and the anubias were all gone within the first 72 hours. Somehow the nana petites were less affected. I removed them to the 10 gallon, and they're still doing fine. The bucephalandra started rotting after a week. My tank looked very sparse with the trimmed down Amazon Swords, java fern, and leopard valisernia that wasn't exactly thriving. It also had leaves that were damaged in the one-week shipping delay, and some of them were rotting too. I trimmed the leopard val even further.

Then I finally made a smart decision. I went to my LFS and bought plants out of their display tanks.

11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The first plants I bought were Ludwigia Repens. Desperate to restore some green to the barren landscape, I indiscriminately planted stems everywhere. It looked terrible, and I later moved them.

It looked terrible but at least I had some green back. I tried using a Fluval 45g CO2 kit that I got for just $20 including shipping. It was probably not a good purchase. The bubble counter didn't really work, and I somehow went through the tank in 3 days. Rookie mistakes. :(

Anyway, I think I realized one day that it looked terrible having the ludwigia everywhere like this:

I probably shouldn't have moved these plants, but... I did... The Amazon Sword on the left is actually looking pretty good here. The one on the right, not so much. The mystery snail keeps on railroading the green crypts, destroying them. I'm so mad about that because the green crypts are my favorite right now for some reason. You can see what I did, though I don't have pictures of the transition: I bought a bronze crypt wendtii and added it to the right, and two red crypts and added them to the crypt garden on the right as well. I added a single valisneria to the left, which has turned into three plants in just a matter of weeks. There now is bacopa in the back. I'm not sure what kind of bacopa it is to be honest with you. It is growing well though. The main thing I'm struggling with is algae. I had some hillstream loaches eating at the brown diatoms, but I can't get it under control. Also, I lost two hillstream loaches. I thought the first one had burned itself on a heater. Nope. The zebra danios were attacking them, and biting their fins and tails. The danios were so aggresive that the hillstreams were bleeding out. I was shocked by that. I traded the zebra danios into my LFS for credit toward 6 habrosus cories for my 10 gallon. I guess I'll do a journal of that tank next. It's simple. Just some ludwigia, rotala, and dwarf sag.

Ok, so now that things are getting somewhat better, here is where things are today on 2/16/2021. The bottom leaves of the bacopa and the ludwigia have ugly brown algae. I'm waiting for everyone in the tank to get hungry enough to eat it off.

Right now, here's the stocking:

10 neon tetras
2 hillstream loaches
4-6 amano shrimp
7-8 cherry shrimp
8 dwarf chain loaches
6 trilineatus cories
2 nerite snails
2 mystery snails

I have two nicrew lights on this tank. A skyled plus (97 PAR, iirc) and a Classic Planted Plus (70 PAR). I run them at 40% for about 8 hours right now, as I try to get rid of the algae. Hopefully next month I will install a simple paintball CO2 system. For fertilizers, I am just using Aquarium Co-Op's Easy Green and Seachem Flourish Iron (for the Ludwigia). Oh, and some Flourish Root Tabs. Man the iron really produces some crazy redness. After I the algae under control, I'm hoping to use Repashy Soilent Green to feed the hillstream loaches. Here's the latest pic from today. Any advice is greatly appreciated! :)

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