Been a long time since I updated this. The tank was running great until I moved out of the apartment for a year, leaving the girlfriend in charge of the tank in my absence. Unfortunately, the tank was a complete disaster when I got back. Apparently, she hadn't noticed the lights were left off for several months after a fuse had to be reset Anyways, I came back in October and finally decided in December that I would start over, but with some minor changes this time (like absolutely no soil this time lol). It was a PITA completely emptying and discarding the contents of the tank, especially the soil substrate. I completely cleaned up the inside of the tank before getting started. I ordered 80lbs of Ecocomplete supplemented with 50lbs of Black Diamond blasting sand. I also found a nice rock to complement the driftwood that I already had. I managed to salvage an amazon sword and some java moss which was completely brown but I thought I'd see if it recovers (which it has). So on to the stocking lists:
25 neon tetras
10 pristella tetras (5 albino, 5 normal)
3 boesemani rainbows
2 celebes rainbows
Alternanthera reineckii roseafolia
Hygrophilia Corymbosa Stricta
I need to go back to the fish store to check on more rainbows, but I'll eventually have a good sized shoal in there.
Those two pictures were taken four weeks apart from a few days after setup to today.
Like those before and after shots, nice!
A couple days ago I decided to add some root tabs. Instead of buying manufactured ones, I took the time to make my own. I used size-00 gel caps filled with Miracle-Gro Tomato, Fruits and Vegetables continuous release plant food pellets because it has micronutrients and calcium and was also closest to the NPK values that I wanted. I spaced them out every 6", including up against the edges, so I think I added around 28 tabs total. I tested ammonia 1, 12, 24 and 48 hours to make sure it hasn't leached into the water column and all was good. Also, after getting my phosphate up to 2.3 mg/L a week ago, it has already dropped down to 0.6 mg/L. I'm surprised my plants are consuming it so quickly considering I don't consider the tank very heavily-planted right now (at least when compared to my previous setup); nitrate's being consumed at a nice rate as well. And also, this goes to show that nutrients do not equal algae since I haven't had any algae show up in my tank since it's been set up even though I like to keep relatively high levels of nitrate and phosphate.
Where on earth did you find empty gel caps??
I got mine cheap on Ebay, but they're also available on Amazon as well as many other websites. You just need to search for "00 gel caps".
Originally Posted by talldutchie
Thought I'd post an updated pic. I moved some plants around because I found out the Pogostemon erectus doesn't grow as tall as I originally thought, so I moved it to the front, moved the Ludwigia ovalis to the back left, and the Cabomba Palaeformis to back center. I also trimmed the Ludwigia and Cabomba because they had reached the top of the water.
Nice neat well arranged tank. I realy like it. I am definitely stealing some idea's from your tank, LOL .
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SHE......Lest We Forget
You can see there isn't a whole lot of difference since the previous picture (which was actually day 47, not 37 so if a mod sees this and wouldn't mind changing that, I'd be very appreciative ;-)). You can see that amazon sword has nearly reached the surface now, and I've had to trim the stem plants several times. I was having issues with my hygo; the lower leaves were rapidly dropping off (pretty noticeably in the pic). I couldn't see there being any nutrient deficiency in my tank so I assumed that there wasn't enough CO2. I removed the biomedia from my canister filter and placed it in a bucket of tank water in case if my plan didn't work: I moved my glass diffuser to below the filter intake so that the CO2 would get sucked up and be much more efficiently dissolved into the water (this would likely kill the bacteria which is why I removed it). That would also allow me to increase the bubble-rate. I haven't seen any hygro leaves drop off since. I tested the water for ammonia twice a day for several days to make sure there wasn't a spike after removing the biomedia, but the plants are clearly rapidly removing the ammonia because I never saw any ammonia spike. I went ahead and left the biomedia out of the filter since it was no longer necessary. I've also been having some trouble with a white film on the surface of my tank which is common for planted tanks with no surface movement. I've just been skimming it out every few days to get rid of it.
Great looking tank. You have green fingers :smmile: Looks fantastic.
That last shot looks like you're almost going for a Dutch planted look.
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