Hello all, I'm in the middle of cycling my new 15 gallon tank and had a few questions so I figured I might as well try and turn it into a tank journal.
This will be my 2nd aquascaped tank as I have a 10 gallon waterbox cube that I've posted about before. I also have a small ~7 gallon aqua one lifestyle tank that I received from a friend a while ago (this was my first ever tank and what brought me into the hobby :grin2
it currently houses 6 neon tetras and 3 Darwin Algae Eating shrimp, they've been there for almost 2 years now but I wanted to give the neons an upgrade as it seems a little cramped for them and I also find the tank a bit too obstructive to do regular maintenance on.
Hence why I decided to go for a 15 gallon rimless tank.
Here you can see the hardscape setup:
I scaped it in an island style, positioned in a left to right fashion rather than the typical centred island. This was largely because I liked the idea of an open swimming space on the right side of the tank for the neons to hopefully school in. I used a nice main of golden vine spider wood (as well as a smaller piece too) and "black kole stone". Now I'm not exactly sure what "black kole stone" is as google doesn't yield any results except for the website I got it from which describes it as a "iwagumi scape stone". So, I'm unsure how it'll affect the hardness and ph of the water but I hope its neutral as it looks similar to black lava stone.
For the substrate I used ADA Amazonia soil II with ADA power sand beneath that and some generic white sand.
Now for the plants I used:
Windelov Java Fern
Hydrocotyle tripartita 'japan' mini
Limnophila aromatica "Green"
The planted tank:
Now that was a week ago. Here it is as of today:
As you can see the classic white growth has appeared all over the wood, there's little bit of brown diatoms here and there and the water is slightly cloudy. At the same time some of the plants seem to be melting, they are turning yellow/browning. Mainly the big java fern is showing this and the anubias. Some of the stem plants at the back corners seem to be yellowing at the lower stems, I think its because of the light not reaching that far into those bottom corners. Although they look suprisingly fine so far, I'm also worried about the hygrophila compakt not receiving enough light as they are situated beneath big java fern leaves. No sign of green algae as of yet!
Should I bother trying to clear out the white growths and brown diatoms or will they go away by themselves? would it be detrimental to he plants to leave them there? My initial plans were that if they were still around by the time the tank cycles, the livestock will take care of them.
On the other hand, does anyone have any tips for the melting plants? or is it normal in a new tank and the plants will regrow alright?
I've also noticed this small brown rings that look like fish/snail poop and they are all over the tank. I've only seen 3 snails so far that i immediately got rid off, I'm trying to make sure this tank doesn't get a snail infestation as my others have. Regardless, I dont think it is snail poop and I think its just more brown diatoms? Can anyone confirm what they are?
The hardware I'm using:
Lighting - 1x Finnex 24/7 Planted + HLC
Filter - Aqua Clear 20 HOB filter
Heater - Aquael 70w heater/thermometer