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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well this is the second post I make here but for months I have been reading and drooling over so many forum posts of beautiful planted tanks. Some of the tanks on this site are true living art master pieces and many of them inspired me to have a go at a water green thumb!

This is the evolution of my little 15 gal tank the gf got me for my birthday last feb! I'm sure now she wishes she didn't get it as she has been there to help with almost all the changes :p

In the beginning there was: Fake plants, plastic wood , and white gravel with a powerglow bulb. Basically the tank was bleached out from top to bottom!

Then the fake wood seemed to be leaking an oily substance and I was scared it would kill my fish so I replaced it with real wood! as well the white gravel was way too bright so I added more black to it. SO natural looking now right? :(

I finally got totally fed up of the look and at about this time my sister wanted to get rid of her 50 gal aquarium. So I took it re-homed the fish in the 15 gal there and started over. I should have learned form my past mistake of what substrate but the gf thought it looked so pretty in the store and I thought it would look stunning as well! Thus White play sand with Wendii crypts, Amazon sword, and sunset hygro.

Well the extra lighting and the ferts without a full comprehension of how to take care of a planted tank resulted in the inevitable GREEN WATER OF HELL! Had I known now what I knew then would have kept some for a fry tank!!!

So after the green water from hell that stayed for about 2 weeks time I started to read more and more here learning everything I needed. I finally realized some of my mistakes and tried to fix them. One thing I knew was I didn’t have enough CO2 for my plants and I did the good old DIY method. Well one night I was making a new batch of yeast and plopped the tubing back in the tank and went to make a new batch. I got distracted by sports on the TV and when I came back in the first step I took into my room was a wet one! Basically the tube fell out of the tank and gravity did the work for me! My tank slowly filtered out due to me being dumb and not having a stop valve! For anyone cheaping out on a check valve let this picture be a warning that you may walk in to see only this much water in your tank with the rest on your floor! 3$ check valve > 45$ rug DR rental and cleaning products to get the crap out of the carpeting!

Well as time went on I added more plants now and then. As I went to LFS and read online I kept looking at the same plants over and over thus I added Valisera giganta, Water sprite, Micro swords, valisera spiralis, and java moss. However I had not really gotten into scaping and just basically plopped em where they would fit in.

Unfortunately one day there was a power outage. My tanks got pretty cold and a case of Ich broke out in both tanks. I was really sad as the 15 gal had become a home for some ember tetras and a female GBR (the male died after spawning :( ) However I took this time to re-evaluate what I wanted to do with the planted tank.

Questions in my head were:
What do I do about lighting?
What do I do about the substrate?
What do I want to house in it?
What plants do I want?
Is my filtration up to par with what I want?

Over the past couple weeks I have pieced together the answers of all my questions. Finally tonight after weeks of making decisions and then finding and buying the best deals on answers I have a completed tank. All it needs to do now is grow in!

Lighting was changed from one 24" T8 Fluo to. 2 24" T5 HO vial a Hagen Glo system.
Substrate was replaced with Flourish Black

Filtration now has 1 powerhead diffusing CO2 and giving a small current on the right side of the tank. While an Eheim Classic 2213 takes care of filtration for the rest of the tank and gives a nice flow. Though I had to tapper down the outflow as it would make a 15gal a whirlpool if it was left full out.

Inhabitants: 1 Otto, 3 Amano Shrimp, and a Pair of apistogramma cacatuoides.

Plants: Some old plants didn’t make it in the re-scape and some did but I will just list what is there now!
-Allot of sunset Hygro
-4 shoot's of scarlet Hygro (though from what I read it's not truly aquatic and is a bog plant thus I may remove it)
-Java moss
-Anubias nana (one of them is flowering :) )
-Water sprite
-Valisera giganta
-Valisera spiralis
-Cryptocoryne Walkeri (that is what it was labeled but not sure if it is )
-Egeria densa
-Micro swords
- and a nice big Amazon sword though I cut back allot of the leaves as it use to be in the middle but the new scape puts it on the side so had to give it a trim!

And this is how it looks now!

One of my amano shrimp wants to know what you are all looking at!!!

Thank you for looking and hope to see many comments, suggestions and criticism!!

**Edited for spelling **

394 Posts
I like journals like this, your not afraid to post your mistakes. Everyone makes them. But by posting about it and documenting it you might have prevented someone from making the same mistakes.

Tank looks great, good job!

6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for the comments :) I noticed that in allot of journals you just see the beginign and then the very end. The one thing I always wondered was "how did it get from point A to B. Happy others like seing the A to B as well :)
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