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Zen Rock Garden Goldfish Tank

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Hey guys, I had another account on here but i realized I had a pretty stupid typo in the name (lovlelychaotic) so here I am again.

Back in February I started my 20 gallon tank with two goldies. I acknowledged that they would need a bigger tank and by July I lucked into a 55 gallon tank and a Marineland Penguin 350 for about 44 dollars. Now my goldies get to go into their permanent home! For now, the tank is filtering through with some microsword, comet feeders, and bamboo.

What I need to know is what can I do to keep the plants healthy? The water gets a weekly dose of Kent Manganese and Iron and other assorted vitamins or minerals, along with a dormant bacteria to reduce ammonia and prevent new tank shock. I don't have a good substrate or the means to get a good substrate, at least not for a while. My microsword has already started branching out in thin lines. It was doing well in the 20. But now that it has started growing more, how do I help it start carpeting? Also how do I keep it separated from the rock garden portion?

I also wanted to make a small wooden like fence to go around the rock garden. Does anyone know of a way to cure popsicle stick type wood for water use? Or of where to get a small decoration fence?
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Put fertilizer tablets in the substrate, bury them deep so there is the least fertilizer getting up into the water.

Bacterial additives like you are using are a waste of money. The right bacteria grow forever in the right conditions and do not have to be supplemented at every water change. When you know there will be a problem with the bacteria (for example, when you are setting up a new tank) look for Nirtospiros species of bacteria. Those are the actual nitrifying bacteria that maintain the nitrogen cycle. All other 'cycle in a bottle' products are a waste of money. You only need to use Nitrospira once.
New tank.
Adding new fish to an established tank.
After medications (or something else) that might have compromised the bacteria.

Instead of a formal fence, how about laying a piece of driftwood between the rocks and the plants? More natural looking.
No, there is not a way to make Popsicle sticks stay intact under water. They are so thin that they will rot pretty fast even if you try to coat them with anything.
 
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