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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's up everybody! I'm new here and new to the hobby as well but I've been working with plants for years just not aquatic. I first started out with a 10g marineland kit from Petsmart on sale for $59. Shortly after I scaped it I wanted to do a bigger one, so I searched craigslist for some deals and got a 20g marineland kit new for $40. The 10g is in it's third week and the 20g is 4 days in. I believe I've spent less than $200 on both total.

The pictures is from my iPad mini non-retina. :(
If you guys want I can retake pictures using my sisters SLR.

Let me know how I did while designing on a dime.
 

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Great start! Focus on getting your plants growing well. Then you can play with the scape as you please. What plants do you have in the tanks?

I think the second one would look better if you planted some tall growing plants on the left with a similar height as the right. Really making the sand path your focal point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey bravebuc! Thanks! The plants are doing pretty good.. The only thing that melted in the beginning wAs the hairgrass now im starting to see it here and there. Here are a list of the plants :

dwarf hair grass
Marino moss ball
amazon sword
Staurogyne repens
Cyperus helferi
Bacopa
Penny wort
Giant Mondo grass
Java moss
baby tears
Kleiner bar sword
Hydrophila 'kompakt'
Brazil sword
Pogostemon helferi
Bacopa
melon sword
Dwarf baby tears
Anubias afzelii

As for the bottom pictured tank that space is quite huge and that driftwood tree is tall.. I was thinking of growing the hornwort (pictured) long enough to reach the other side and fill that whole space like a liquid smoke tree effect. I went to a few LFS and didn't find anything that tall besides jungle val and it doesn't look right to me when there's going to be a carpet of dwarf baby tears.. Can you suggest a plant that grows tall and compliments the baby tears?
 

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Glad to hear it is going well!

I see now what you are going for with the left side of the 20g.

You could just take some cutting from the future hornwort growth (grew like crazy for me) and plant a grouping of it on the background to the left. Maybe you could sort of have a tunnel that the sand goes through? Another option is future cuttings of bacopa which would manage the height easily too once it gets going. I'd just stick with the plants you have for now and resist buying something else. You already have so many :p.

Might be cool to just go with what you had planned too.

Be careful about the hornwort blocking light from the HC (the dwarf baby tears) once it grows out like you plan. Also, are you running co2? Or, at least dosing excel? If not, the HC is gonna be pretty tough to keep alive in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah I'm dosing and have a DIY with air stone while I wait for my fluval counter and diffuser from amazon. The 10g I have the Hagen ladder set up. That hornwort tunnel sounds like a fantastic idea but like you said it'll shade the HC. The bacopa grows very strangely. Mines keep branching out into separate branches and grows bigger than the original stem, is that right?

There's a lot of playroom with the 20g so any other suggestions would be great! :)
 

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Ah, good to hear you already have some co2 for the HC. Have you tried just running the diy co2 airline into the intake of the HOB filter? It will make some noise but will prob diffuse better than the airstone because the pump chops the co2 up into little tiny bubbles. At least it did for me when I was first trying diy co2 and also had a HOB. The airstone I had made too big of bubbles so not much ended up in the water.

Per the Bacopa,
I'm guessing the main stem was grown under different conditions (before you bought it) and then the new ones are how stuff will grow now in your tank.

If you trim the top off a stem, it will branch out a lot but they will branch out anyways sometimes even without topping.

What you do with them is cut the top off and stick the bottom into the ground. It will root and grow. Eventually, things get ratty so you'll pull the old stem slowly out of the substrate and replant with the top(s). Doing so lets you kind of decide on how you want it to look.

So just pull out, cut and replant if you don't like the way it's looking. I think they look best in bunches so having branches is a good thing even if you don't want them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow thanks for the amazing response time!

How did you attach the tube to the intake? Could you elaborate more on that please? I have a aquaclear powerhead with a Venturi intake.. Would it suck out too much from the DIY?

I'm gonna try something with the plant arrangement tomorrow. I'll update.
 

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I'm not sure about the venturi intake sucking too much. It would be worth a try. If not, just zip lock or rubber band the hose in place where the end of the airline is right bellow the intake of your power head or HOB. The bubbles will get sucked in pretty well if you get it in the right place. Just hold the airline with your hand to find the right spot.

I actually ended up using the co2 into a powerhead method until I switched to pressurized co2 and built a cerges reactor. Before that, I tried an ebay ceramic diffuser with the diy but wasn't able to work up enough pressure to make it work. Hopefully you will have better luck with the fluval diffuser.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
20g tank : So i planted the dwarf baby tears and dhg in after i ordered my Finnex Planted+ with amazon prime a weekish ago and it barely gonna get here tomorrow. This is the first time prime has failed me and because of that my plants are melting.. either that or its the transition phase for them seeing as though the baby tears were emersed. The hornwort is growing huge! I added pennywort, anubias nanas, and cabomba purple. Also stocked up the tank a little with some bolivian ram, more neons and red cherry shrimp. Everyone is doing extremely well. I can take more pictures tomorrow when I install the Finnex. But here's a photo to hold you off for a day. The DHG looks so un-attractive.

10g tank : Carpet of S. Repens filling out more. I can have pictures of it tomorrow.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Sorry if you already answered this and I missed it, but if you're not dosing Excel, I find it really helpful when getting carpeting plants going, as it will kill off the algae that can take over otherwise while emersed growth is dying off during conversion to submersed.

I suspect you'll end up wanting to pull the Hornwort soon. It's not used all that often in aquascapes because it tends to do a little *too* well, and becomes invasive. You might try a Crypt there, or if you want to stick with a stem plant, Rotala rotundifolia or Stargrass (Herawhateveritscalled) would be two to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for your advice! I am dosing. The hornwort is what makes the tree. It was the cheapest route. I trim it and it feels like I'm practicing bonsai. It's fun having it grow and having to trim it like one. I'll do a trimming and I'll have a photo up.
 

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LOL yeah Hornwort will definitely make for a good aquatic bonsai tree. If you're enjoying it then that's what matters! :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There's any irony in this tank though. That being the most common invasive plant is the centerpiece to the more loved and cherished. It's my sisters tank. The dog stares it it for hours and so can I.

Any more advice would be welcome and always appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Photo day!

Got my iPad and took some pictures with it. It's an iPad mini non retina, cameras not very good. I used the HDR function on it.

I just trimmed The Tree of Hornwort. Sounds like lord of the rings.

Waiting on the finnex planted plus!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My 10g.. Cut and replanted the s. Repens. Im eventually gonna cover the right side when I have time. There's just baby tear runners everywhere.
 

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