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My First Ever Planted tank! (PICS INC)

1202 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  The Plantman
I started this tank about 6 months ago making lots of changes along the way. I started in january with pretty basic understanding of how an aquarium works but now i have learnt alot more from people and this website :) (its a 15 gallon btw)

I started without any co2, basic filter and low light. Now i have a better filter and also med-high lighting with diy co2 (im only 14 years old). Recently (1 week or so ago) I have added several plants and i hope for them to grow. These plants are: Eusteralis stellata, ludwigia palustris green, alternanthera cardinalis, cabomba california. these have started off really well and they are looking great! Also i had plants before which i added about a month ago, these are: Eleocharis acicularis (for a carpet style) and Rotala wallachi.
The hair grass is doing well and creating a nice carpet but (THE BIG BUT) the rotala's leaves below the crown are black! The crown nearest the surface is nice and green but the rest is black! Any help on this????

I do weekly water changes (25%) with parameters of:

I havent got a test kit for water hardness of anything but my co2 levels seem to be around 20-30ppm with around 1bps. (diy fluctuates alot ey?)

My equiptment list is:
Fluval u2 internal filter.
50w heater.
Powerhead (used for diffusion of co2)
2*20w t4 flourecent tubes 3500k (i know this is bad spectrum but my plants really seem to benifit :/) This makes it 2.8 wpg.
Diy Co2.

Also i seem to be getting a film on the water surface. Any ideas what this is???

Any changes i need to make? Advice would be much apreiciated :)

Sorry about the bad pictures :(


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More pictures :)

I forgot to make a list of inhabitants:
Neon tetra x2
Zebra danio x3
Red/Blue tetra x4
Head and tailight tetra x6
Red tail shark x1
Sucking loach x1
Amano shrimp x3

I bit overstocked i know :(


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I also forgot to mention i have serveral Cryptocoyne's in there as well and i also use root tabs and does a liquid fertiliser every water change :)
What is it about 15 gallons that just hits the spot for me? It will be totally awesome once the Eleocharis fills in. It looks really good in it's current state though.
Have you had any trouble with the Red Tailed shark bullying other fish? I have tried them a couple times, and they are always diabolically territorial.

Nice :proud:
Hg looks great. Consider yourself lucky. My carpeting attempts having been coming up short lately.
Nice looking tank. I don't know what the surface film is, but I had it too. A surface skimmer takes care of it real quick.
Red tailed black sharks will become more aggressive the smaller the tank they are in. However, they have different temperaments and some are just mean.
Your freaking 14 and I'm 21 and are off to a better start then I ever was! So freaking jealous
Thanks for the replies :) Onefang, I have had some problems with it only being territorial wiht my sucking loach but the sucking loach really is terrible for it so im thinking of getting rid of the loach and replacing with some shrimp as they look nicer :) Problemman, I get what you mean as my uncle has a tank and he says he doing anything for his too look like it XD Personally im not liking it much :/ I would like to rip out that rotala (next to filter, looks straggly) and replace with something... Any ideas?
Spiral vals, full size hairgrass? Maybe some Narrow leaf chainsword, or needle leaf java ferns?
Hmmmmm. How about some blyxa japonica? Would i be able to grow it in my light? I love its bushy looking growth :)
Do you think seachem flourish would make my plants grow somewhat quicker?

Notice the stumpy fin on my shark? :)
Flourish is micro-nutrients... You might have more growth with Macros... But i dont think it will hurt.
Do you what type of algae is in my hairgrass? Its mostly on the gravel :)
I found after I got my Co2 high enough the film on the waters surface just went away.
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