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Discussion Starter #1
Hello folks!

Its been a while since I started a new journal. That doesn't mean things haven't been happening, only that I have been posting much about it.

A few months back I decided my Spec V days were numbered. I wanted to replace it with a shallow rimless tank so I could emulate all the emersed growth I see in streams when I go hiking locally. With this in mind I went tank searching. I wanted something that was larger then my existing Spec V but it still had to be small enough to fit in the same location (a small kitchen counter). I quickly discovered there were not a lot of options in this size range. The perfect tank was the ADA 60F. It also was completely sold out everywhere! I waited a month or so but there was no end in sight. About this time I realized the DOOA H23 had the identical dimensions but had a taller back wall. The back wall was a bit odd, but I decided it wasn't too odd. I ended up purchasing it from Aqua Forest and shipped to my house. The tank arrived in a box that was easily 3 times as large as the tank itself. It also arrived completely intact so huzzah! And without a pad, boooo! A cheap yoga mat took care of this.

Using wild captured rocks (after a good boiling) and some random bits of drift wood from a LFS (also after boiling) I started playing around with aquascapes. This is what I came up with after a few weeks of very casual design:



For substrate I took the sand and aquasoil that was already in my Spec V and put it in the bottom and back of the new tank. I then covered this with more pool filter sand. The submerged plants are primarily blyxa japonica. I also have some anubias nana petite, and Lobelia cardinalis as well. For emerged plants I am using Brazilian pennywort and eleocharis acicularis I grew from seeds I purchased from prairie moon nursery. I have been growing this stuff all season in a tub outside so it was fun to finally put some of it in an aquarium:





If it looks huge, it is, but that's how it grows when emersed apparently.

I also have some moss I literally scraped up from spots in my yard and a rabbits foot fern for the above water section on the wood.

For filtration I decided to go with an Oase Filtosmart 100 filter. I meant to buy the thermo version but managed to mess that up. Fortunately you can buy the parts to add the heater to the filtosmart essentially making it function as the thermo version does. Here is how it looked initially:



The light is a 30cm Chihiros WRGB 2. I have it tuned so its putting out around 70 ppfd at substrate directly under the light with around 40 ppfd in the corners. Its up this high to keep the Blyxa happy since it needs a good bit of light in a low tech tank.

All of that equipment hanging out was a bit of a mess. I knew this going in and my planned solution was to hide it behind a wood wall. Using some scrap wood I had lying around I glued together 2 oak boards and made a little slot on one side for hoses to go through. This is how it looked:



The Oase filter is rated for a much high flow tank so I needed to turn it down. The supplied intake and return have the ability to turn it down built right in which is pretty nifty, but I also knew I wasn't keeping those black plastic bits. Instead I bought cheapy pvc barbed ball valve off of amazon:



Using this I could tune my flow exactly where I needed it to be and adjust it later if needed.

Since the black plastic bits had to go I went looking for some lily pipes. There are numerous glass options but I absolutely do not want to clean glassware. That left stainless steel. Given how shallow the tank is there was frankly only 1 option. Chihiros Stainless Steel Lily Pipes sized small. They needed to ship from china but it was worth the wait.

As for inhabitants? Well I decided to go with another betta ;P

I also added a handful of blue ramshorn snails, some blue neocaridina shrimp I moved over from another tank, and 6 harlequin rasbora. These latter ones have not been doing well for me in this tank. 5 of the 6 died within a couple of days. I don't have hopes for the last one either. No idea why they are dropping like flies either, I suspect I just got some unhealthy fish.

My betta meanwhile has eaten at least one shrimpy so far which doesn't seem like a good sign for the rest. Other then this things are going well. The snails are having a field day and have already laid several clutches of eggs. So without further ado I shall introduce via way too many pictures to my new male Koi Plakat betta named by my 3 year old daughter,

Mr. Fishy:













I will say this for Mr. Fishy, right away he is smarter and more personable then my last betta ever was which definitely makes for a fun change of pace.

And finally here is a full tank shot of how the tank looks today:



In the future I plan to add some ludwigia to my emersed plants. Plus I want to get some fish to replace my rasboras. I am thinking of going with some small tetras like ember tetras if I can find them locally.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Update!

Its been 4 months since I posted this tank and I have completely neglected this journal despite several events happening.

I added a handful of blue neocaridina shrimp to this tank and Mr. Fishy hunted down all but one. I added 3 amano shrimp to the tank and the largest of the 3 climbed out and died at some point shortly after being added. One of the smaller ones went MIA and the last remaining one is still in there somewhere but very much in hiding. It turns out Mr. Fishy is not one of those blasé betta fish.

I added a handful of blue ramshorn snails but most died after a few months. I think because there wasn't enough algae in the tank to keep them alive. There is still one small one loose in there and realistically my only algae eater other then one very scared amano.

Mr. Fishy himself has gone through some changes as well. When I bought him he was labeled as a 'premium koi male betta' by my local fish store. Turns out he is definitely more of a marble betta. Here is how Mr. Fishy looks these days:





Definitely a wonderful fish and also the betta with the most color of any I have owned (even the fins near his gills have pigment). But in no way can he be a Koi betta with such a drastic change in his patterning. Good news is that he seems to have settled into this current color pattern.

The plants in the tank have grown very well with the pennywort going through periods of taking over and then being cut back etc. Here is how it looked before a big trim:



The pennywort even flowered a couple of times:



But after 4 months I grew tired of the scape and decided to redo it ;P

So here is how it looks now:





All the same plants and inhabitants, a few different rocks and one less piece of wood. I'm pretty happy with it now, it should last another few months at least ;P

Mr. Fishy approves:

 
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