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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About a year ago I set up my first planted tank, a 29 gallon with high light. I learned a ton in the running of this tank but I wanted a more "pro" look and this tank just looked "off". Here's one of the last photos before the tear down...



After picking up a seaclear 50g at the LFS, and convincing the wife this will be the last tank (for a couple years hehe) for a while, I started to flesh out my vision. I headed out to the beach and picked up some nice Puget Sound driftwood...



After screwing on some slate tiles to keep it down I add some sand from the same beach, rinsed thoroughly, and dropped in some rocks I got from the lake...



Blending in a bag of Flourite black...



Draining the old tank with a helper and moving the pets into a Tupperware bin. Note the Takashi Amano book on the couch, inspiration for this project...



I recovered a bunch of red Flourite classic substrate from the old tank and laid it down behind the driftwood and capped it off with a bag of Eco Complete. Last shot before the aquascaping the next day...



Here she is after scaping and filling and allowing the dust from the Flourite to filter out (the Eco Complete, being bagged in water, gave no dust, but its not as fine grained as the Flourite)...

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
A couple notes:
I built a stand for this project, need to get some pics of that.
I plan to get a full 36" fixture to add to the 2 30" units from the old tank, bringing the whole thing to 6xT5 HO at 3.5 WPG.
I plan on adding a second diffuser on the left side to my 5G CO2 tank.
I plan on adding a second canister and a second Koralia Nano, the idea being to make the tank balanced and to avoid the dead side I ended up with my old tank.
I plan on implementing an automatic water changer.
And of course I plan on taking pictures galore as the thing grows and the inhabitants I plan to add. The cherry barbs are spawning every evening so I think they're happy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A front view showing the beginning of the glossostigma carpet. I really need to clean up the tubing in the back, maybe put in a black background...

 

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Whats up with the h. corymbosa? do you want that tree effect or do you want new leafs to form?
if you want new leafs, cut the stem and replant the top part.
otherwise, this looks promising. What's the stock list on fish and plants for this setup?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I got the corymbosa a couple weeks ago and it was a single stem, now it's busting out with more stems from the base and I'm going to lop off the top soon.
 

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I like the scape... it will look real nice grown in more of course.

I definitely think a dark background would suit this tank!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Plants:
H corymbosa
H corymbosa compacta
Christmas moss
Java moss
Java fern
Baby's tears
Dwarf pennywort
Pogostemon erectus
Rotala magenta
Salvinia floaters
Argentine sword
Crypt parva
Crypt (unknown to me)
Crypt wendtti - next purchase
Sunset hygro

Pets:
9 cherry barbs (3 m, 6 f)
3 corydora punctatus
7 red cherry shrimp
1 dwarf red gourami (f, male arriving son)
1 green neon tetra (9 more arriving soon)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Looking down the long end of the tank. After 1 week since building the tank the dwarf pennywort and hygrophillia corymbosa are starting to respond...

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Added 6 Diamond Tetras to the tank

Picked up 6 diamond tetras on Black Friday. They didn't have any blue flame tetras or praecox rainbows, which is what I was going for, so I went browsing the aisles and these guys caught my eye. They are working out perfectly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
3 month update

Nearing the 3 month mark, some updates to the tank I set up in November, but first a couple pics from tonight...





Currently I'm on day 3 of Maracin 2 for a BGA outbreak that started in the sand and soil underneath the substrate that I could see creeping up from about 1 inch down. Over a few weeks it worked its way to the surface and started showing up on the glosso. I increased the vacuuming of the mulm that had built up to mature levels and began upping my WC'S to twice a week and cutting down the phosohorus and nitrogen dosing, increasing my excel to overdose levels, and implementing a siesta. I also put in a UV unit that you can see in the pics being fed by the big black tubing- this is helping my GDA. I can say I have absolutely no new algae under this regimine and the BGA should be gone after this course of antibiotics and the tank will be fully mature at 3.5 months. I also threw in some aragonite on top of the Puget Sound sand to give me a buffer and lift the KH out of the 2 degree level. Whadya think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sunlight hitting the tank

So I had a crisis with my tank, outlined here. My tank is holding together regardless of common sense, which would be to take it down. Recently, it's delighting me with the Seattle sun coming in at an angle into the basement window and giving me the following treat for about an hour a day...

The reason I got involved in this hobby is the visual impact of sunlight (simulated 99% of the time) on plants, supporting a habitat for beautiful animals.
 
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