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Discussion Starter #1
This tank has been set up for about a month or so. It's cycled, but still has some "new tank" to it. So it's a little rough around the edges, I don't think I'm really going to touch it for a couple of months to let everything settle. This is also the first glass tank that I've had (other than my pico) since I was about ten or so.


It's a 40b 3*39 T5HO (but two are only on for a few minutes a day so most of the time it's just 1 bulb)

CO2 injected (no bubble counter and I really have no idea if I'm doing that part right).

Eco-complete with a bit o' dirt on the bottom layer.

Eheim 2217 for filtration.

The plants are not all in the right places due to some poorish planning on my part. A couple of the plants are collected, some bought here and some have been with me for many moons. There are a couple of species I've never tried before and I'm looking forward to seeing them grow.



 

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Looks good, I've always wanted to do a 40B. Have you though about doing some type of carpet plant in the front? Maybe dwarf hair grass or HC?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you.

There's some belem and some UG in there. From what I understand, it takes a while to acclimate then starts getting around. I haven't quite decided if I need to get some more of just let what's in there grow for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sad news: After the appearance of staghorn, I fiddled with the CO2 (I don't have a bubble counter and really have no idea how much I was putting in) and gassed the fish.

I lost a fish and assumed that he jumped, but I'm guessing he became a little ammonia spike instead.:angel:

I then freaked out and adjusted the CO2, with no way to tell what my base level was, backed off in fear. Then had to try and blind dial a needle valve to an inline diffuser (real hard to look at that one and tell what's going on).

These pictures are from a couple of days before the incident.







Views from my chair:


 

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Discussion Starter #6
Darn man, always sucks when something like this happens. What all did you lose? I can't really see any fish in the pics.

I really only had a few fish in there (it's still relatively new) so nine cardinals and a skirt tetra that has been with me for a while now. Bummed about that last one.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I need an adult

So,

The tank has been plugging away for a few years now. actually I moved and had to move the tank which (went fairly smoothly). When I moved it had to move the filter to the opposite side and thus adjust the 'scape. Which brings us to today. My scape has disappeared.

The pinch of java moss has taken over the vast majority of the tank, enabled by the horrible duckweed screen that it has most of the time. The fissidens(sp?) has swallowed most of the super miniature hair grass (belem or maybe something that starts with an e or i). The miniature sword attempts to come out and completely overtake everything in the tank all the time. This is actually after removing most of it from the front.

Several other plants have been lost to the various overgrowths. Add to this the generations of guppies (boring I know, but baby fish are cool) and the cherry shrimp.

I don't know what to do. I don't think I can look at this tank objectively. I love it, but it doesn't look good. I need some hard truths and I would greatly value any opinions.







Left side:



Right side:

 

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Holy moly, I think it might be time for a trim and lots of tidying up! Java moss got so annoying for me I simply removed every last trace of it.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A couple of changes. I'm not a thousand percent sure of where I'm going with this. I saw the wood at the lfs at a good price. I decided I needed it. I really like it, but I'm not sure how to plant it just yet. I took out gobs of java moss, and sadish fissidens. Most of the tank was under a thick canopy of duckweed (not even once) and was without co2 for a long time due to life getting in the way.

I was sad to see my belem had been eaten by the fissidens, so I got a little more hairgrass, not of the small variety. it's still all emersed growth, we'll just have to see how it comes in. I got some crypto parva to see which one I end up liking more, and a little bit of wisteria, just to add another weed lol.

There are a couple of plant species in life support in there, and I've got some flow problems and my co2 isn't dialed in... basically, just keeping planted tanks. :)





 

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Discussion Starter #11
Not many changes, but I tried to get some better pictures... I didn't do that great of a job.

I also added in a Hydor Koralia Nano 425 to address a dead spot in the front. The fissidens is just all over the tank. Right now I'm just trying to get the new plants established. The CO2 is looking good, but I'm thinking the lighting is not quite right. We'll see.

I really like that piece of wood, but I'm not too positive on the placement. I sort of think it needs to shift to the right a little. To be honest, the jungle on the right side hasn't been addressed. Hopefully the new increased flow will help spawn some ideas.






 

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Discussion Starter #12
Not too much different. This is before the maintenance. The CO2 is just about right. I'm still in the process of trimming back the java moss mountain and trying to organize the fissidens more. It looks a lot better, but the java moss gets wound up in the fissidens.

The hairgrass is a lot bigger than the belem that was in there. I'm not too sure how I feel about it. It's still all the emersed growth from the LFS (they mostly do reefs and saltwater. I'm lucky there are any plants.). The belem might have a chance of coming back, there's just so little of it left. It sort of got ate by the fissidens. In my mind there would be a lot more belem with little fissiden bushes... the best laid plans...

The HM and the rotala are coming back. The rotala(-sp?) is kind of ragged now as I'm trying to get enough of it to plant a little section. I think it'll stay right where it is. The HM is responding well. I'm hoping for a little bush of it.

I'm not very good at taking pictures.





A couple of the little shrimpies:
These little guys make me wish the tank wasn't on the other side of the room.





 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Well, I tackled a little more of that moss on the right side. I also cut down that ragged rotala, topped it and replanted that. i'm happy to say that it has enough growth since last week to start peeking up from the substrate. I'm also happy to the the parva has grown (or I think it has, hard to tell).

The front is still a little bald, I probably need to do something about that. I don't think the parva would grow quick enough to be effective there. I really only noticed it as a big area in the picture below. From my chair it doesn't look so bad.

I've got pretty mixed emotions about the hair grass. It's a bit tall. I might hack some of the sword/val mess in the back and try it back there in the next couple of weeks. I like them hiding the filter pipes, but it gets a little beaten up right at the surface, and there's some bba spots that I have to prune anyway. Maybe I'll get both those birds with the same stone.

I had been really concerned about hacking down all the moss as the shrimped seemed so fond of it, but it looks like they've busied themselves elsewhere now. I was also a little worried that the shrimp wouldn't like the flow from the powerhead or that it would be too much for the fish, but they both seem to swim around in the current without issue. I think the fish really like it.

Other than that, the tank had been on autopilot for a long time, so aside from fighting moss (duckweed was the first battle). I'm going through and cleaning the filter every couple of weeks. I always get nervous about making a whole lot of changes at once, so I just pick a spot, or a plant, or a whatever and get to it, settle back and wait a week.

Also, my bulbs were about four years old, so I picked up a replacement for one of them and I'll keep an eye on the co2 for a bit to make sure it's up to snuff.

I think I'm going to get a little tank going again and I might look around and see if I can find some additional plants for this guy.

It's no work of art, but it's a lot better than it was and makes me happy. I sort of feel that the wood may need to come to the right a bit.







I think this has grown enough to top and plant.


I flipped this damn picture in windows and on photobucket and it's still wrong. Nevermind, I guess it was just cached wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
About two weeks ago I finally got around to doing something with the right side of the tank. I ripped up all the vals I could, quite a bit of some swordish plant that was over there as well and some more java moss. After such a big change, I haven't done too much with anything. I did clean the filter out really well a week ago, but nothing really this weekend.

I moved the dwarf hairgrass to the back, a good move if it's going to be six inches tall, not the best choice if it's going to be two or three inches. it was all emmersed when I got it, so I'm still not too sure. The CO2 is cranked, I'm actually dosing and running two t5ho's. I'm not really getting the growth I want. except the fissidens, which along with the java moss is quite invasive in this tank. I probably should have cut off the CO2 before taking the pictures. Does everyone else's tanks look like this? I'm debating a CO2 reactor. I'm not sure I like the fizzy look. I know that's a pretty bold statement after a couple of years lol. It's nice to see the flow, but it sort of makes everything look cloudy in person.

I am putting more CO2 and light into this tank than I have in the past. I've got a pretty good surface ripple and the inhabitants all seem happy enough. It's sort of a classic tank-without-a-plan. I feel like I only see a plant I want once in a blue moon, so when I do I grab it before it melts at a store tank and stick it somewhere. In other news, I've got a couple of nano tanks and I'm thinking of setting them up again. Maybe I can plan those a little more and shop out of this one. I need to use some fissidens in one of them. It's a plant that I always wanted, so I don't think I could part with it entirely.

Any suggestions welcomed







You can barely make out the belem that actually looks like it's doing ok with some crypto parva to the left


I believe this is supposed to be Staurogyne Repens, but it looks really leggy in my tank. This was topped from a plant that had reached the surface though, so maybe a trim, or maybe I need some more light or something.


The HM I haven't fixed yet. It's a happy little plant. I'm just not sure where to put it yet.


and this little oddly colored shrimp
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I snapped a couple of shots after the CO2 went off. It looks a lot nicer without the bubbles. I'm thinking I might look into a reactor. I saw one on ebay that looks ok. Clear PVC doesn't seem to exist in my town, or at least I don't know where to look for it.

I lost a shrimp and a fish. I'm not sure if it's CO2 related, or not. I'm a bit paranoid about CO2 sometimes. I also did a pretty hard core cleaning of the filter about two weeks ago, but I never noticed any cloudiness or anything and threw in a couple of extra water changes just for the heck of it. I'm always worried about any big changes though. I know the fish can harass each other and I know they bother the shrimp sometimes too. Not too sure of what happened. I did a couple of huge water changes just in case.

THe CO2 has been off for about 12 hours now and I notice my drop checker isn't blue. It is right after a water change though, so maybe it's just the water level being so high. I have two t5's and plenty of CO2, but not a lot of really fast growers, so I may dial it back a bit.

I'm sort of half considering building a new stand for this tank. It's a bit past my diy skills, but it's awfully painful bumping around under this thing. The stand it's on looks ok, but it's got a tiny door and my inner gear head is always looking for more tank toys. I've also noticed the mdf seems to be separating a bit on a couple of the corners, I don't know if it's something to worry about or not the stand is probably about six or seven years old at this point and just one of those cheap ones.







The view down the side looks pretty dramatic.


I really need to do something about that HM, I want to set up a nano to use some of that moss, but I've still got a few things to pick up for it. Mostly rocks. I don't know what I'm going to do about that yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
A little necro post because that's kind of fun. :)

This little fella is still up and kicking.

I've thought about rescaping or tearing it down numerous times, but with all the guppies and shrimp I'd feel bad.

It's basically an overgrown, algae-covered swamp; but I guess it's home to a small mess of critters and still makes me happy staring at it across from the living room.







 

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Discussion Starter #17
Almost ten years into this tank.

I decided I'd go in for a bit of a haircut and have given this guy quite a few trimmings over the last little while. It's still up and quite stable. I always try to change just a little bit at once, but any tests I've done show zero of the bad stuff. I also have realized that it just won't have nitrate if I don't dose it, so I've tried to get a bit better about that. This tank keeps chugging though and there's constantly new little fish and shrimps, so I guess some things are going ok. I've tried to yank as much duckweed as I can out of it. I think I'll have to wage a further assault on the HM that's growing out of the top to get it all. I may do that a bit more over the holiday. My goodness though, that stuff is prolific.

The guppies are generations old, by this time. Half of them from the local Pet store, and have from an online retailer. The shrimp, likewise are half from ebay and half from the local fish store and some from an online retailer. (I put in a quite small, but expensive, order not too long ago when I realized nobody had any fish/shrimp locally and I was thinking it would be good to get a little genetic diversity in there).

I did pick up one of the fancy led lights that gives you a sunrise and sunset. It seems like a little thing, but I've gotten a real kick out of it. Due to my own laziness I now have 3 5lbs CO2 tanks, and I realized that I'm having a little trouble figuring out which one is full and which one is empty. If anyone knows how to tell, I'd be grateful. I finally had to replace my inline CO2 diffuser after about six years or so, it just didn't want to do anymore despite the many bleachings.

Now that I think about it, I think the only equipment still in place is the glass, the substrate (dirted), & the filter. Everything else has been slowly upgraded over time.

I think for my next tank, I might try something a little more scaped, this one has a pretty big place in my heart though.

Overall, I still love this little tank. I know it's nothing special, and I'm a terrible photographer, but I enjoy the view.


















 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, if my goal was a little genetic diversity and companions for my guppies. I have achieved that goal. There are an alarming amount of guppies. I'm mostly alarmed as it seems they are eating the male guppy babies and leaving the female guppy babies. So now I have two male guppies and I have no idea how many female guppies. I may have made a miscalculation there. My napkin math indicates that I may need to get a pool or something. I probably should not have done this, but my guppies have friends now... and their friends have friends and their friends as well. I should cut back on the feeding I guess, and let them sort it out on their own. The trouble is that I like feeding the fish. They get all happy and it helps me to have little happy fish. I love seeing all the little baby guppies in there hanging out and learning how to be big fish like their parents.

I've been feeding this bacter ae stuff for the shrimp, but everyone seems to like it. I'm not sure if it's a gimmick or not, it sounds a bit like hogwash, but I like buying new fish foods and feeding the fish. Also: why are all the fish foods in such disproportional large container sizes? I don't really feel like I need 35 years worth of fish food. Honest to god, I don't know that I've finished a whole can/pouch/tub of fish food ever... well, maybe algae wafers.Also, If anyone has any fish food suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

It looks like some of the shrimp I got may have been the natural color variant as now I have a bunch of brown, black, and clear shrimps along with my red shrimps. I'm slightly miffed, due to the cost, but... I like them too lol and they're in there making baby shrimps and living busy shrimp lives doing whatever-it-is-they're-doing-so-busily. Some of the brown ones are real pretty too, like neat little patterns and designs, harder to find in the tank, but that might be a good thing if you were a shrimp I guess.

I recently took to performing a much needed, and long overdue, cleaning of the filter and it's associated pipes and tubing. In doing so, I not only made my once silent filter noisy but I also caused a little ammonia spike and some fresh diatoms and a burst of bba. NEAT! So, some furious (read: angry) pruning and fussing and excelling, and water changes things have changed up a bit. Full disclosure: I sort of love changing water. It's something that I used to do as "me time" when I was working and married and still in school and it's still one of my favorite chores.

The absolute mass of rotala indica has been removed (mostly, my collectoritis is real)

Also, my duckweed is back even though I got rid of every single piece of it (collectoritis does not apply to duckweed).

I yanked a bunch of vallisneria out. I aim to remove more. I've gotten rid of that plant entirely a few times too.

The right side is now crowded with Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus (the right side must always be crowded). I like it, it's not as baby shrimp/fish hidey as the rotala was, but I have too many guppies.

I also got some Cryptocoryne Tropica, and a banana plant, because I have a problem.

Oh and some monte carlo, because I wanted to see if I'd like that in the little tank I was just about to set up: a good reason and not indicative of my aforementioned problem.

The Hemianthus micranthemoides (I think) is all over the little stump that reaches the surface. It is a big jungle-ie mess that shades half the tank and needs to be cleaned out, so I can continue hunting duck weed, but it's filled with shrimplets and guppylets and sort of makes me happy even though it's a bit unsightly.

As always: overgrown and algae covered:



 
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