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Results 1 to 10 of 47
  1. Default bmwguy525's Planted 20 Gallon (High) Adventure


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm a beginner aqaurium owner a flat out plant know-nothing. I knew right off the bat that I wanted a full live plant tank and that I was going to do a fishless cycle, but I didn't know I'd be putting this much time and effort into the plants alone

    I'm currently starting Week 4. Here's a progression of my tank:

    Week 1

    Week 1, just starting to read about plants and plant caretaking, but I was too impatient to wait until I had fully learned. Went out and bought a few plants, rocks, and sand. I'd come to learn that sand is a horrible substrate for plants, but I wanted the black rock/white sand look, and I had no idea what it meant for planting.

    Week 1 plant stock:
    Java Fern - lace
    Weeping Moss
    Anacharis
    Anubias




    Week 2

    Week 2 brought about a lot of reading and learning. I knew my tank had a long way to go before I liked it, and I wasn't even close to the aquascape I wanted in the end result. I went back to the LFS to pick up some more lava rock, and a few more plants. This time I grabbed some shorter stuff to hopefully have spread as a grass-like floor.

    My moss was quite brown and the Java Fern lace was really hurting, but after the first 7 days I added a CO2 diffuser and a some food plant tablets to bury in the sand substrate.

    Week 2 plant stock:
    Java Fern - lace
    Weeping Moss
    Anacharis
    Anubias
    Crypt Parva
    Compacta Sword
    Short grass (?)
    ??? (Large plant in left corner, might be large Anubias?)




    Week 3

    After worrying that my current plants were dying and FAST, they started to recover with the help of the CO2 and fertilizer tablets. Both water changes at 7 and 14 days were 50% changes. The Weeping Moss started recovering to a mild green, and I uprooted the Java Fern to get the roots some light. Midweek I also added an air pump and airstone to help oxygenate the water. The plants look just fine now, with the exception of some brown spotting on 3 or 4 leaves altogether.

    On to finalizing the scape.

    I finally realized that I needed to finish building the outside corners, with a open swimming ground in the middle to showcase the fish. I was going to showcase a school of Tiger Barbs, but I really don't want to deal with an aggressive school since I want to add a a German Blue Ram and some catfish. Now thinking of how awesome a school of Neon Tetras would look, I wanted to leave a great viewing space for this beautiful fish.

    I topped off my hardscape with a couple more lava rocks that I was able to form into a nice large piece in the left rear corner, which includes some caves and throughways for any shy fish. The right corner now built up with additional rock and a small angled driftwood in the front right.

    After learning that the roots of the Anubias and the Java fern needed to be out in the open, I angled and lightly tangled the roots to more open areas, and hopefully these will take root onto the lace rock. By week 3 the Anacharis are obviously growing, and I've trimmed 2 new 4" stems to replant. I added some new plants that the Sunday crew at the LFS didn't even know of, so I have no names of them, and then another bunch of Anacharis to start hiding the filter rod and heater.

    Week 2 plant stock:
    Java Fern - lace
    Weeping Moss
    Anacharis
    Anubias
    Crypt Parva
    Compacta Sword
    Short grass (?)
    ??? (Large plant in rear left corner, might be large Anubias?)
    ??? (Busy plant bottom right corner)
    ??? (Skinny stem, bottom left corner)




    I'm really happy with the way the tank looks now, and I'm just hoping the plants are still healthy and green a few weeks from now. My Weeping Moss is still only a mild green, and doesn't look nearly as pretty as it does in the LFS.

    I am doing this fishless cycle without ammonia, as I have yet to find any pure ammonia locally. I'm most likely going to stock this with fish soon, if anything just for the plants' benefit, but I want to make sure the fish will not be harmed if I do this. My readings at 2 week were both very mild in Nitrate and Nitrite, however when I did my readings at week 3 they were both the brightest purple I had seen. I don't know if this is from adding the airstone or from continuously adding plants every 7 days, but I was not expecting the Nitrate/Nitrite levels to elevate at all, let alone this drastically!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    3,321

    Awards Showcase

    You deserve a gift ! :) - MeganL3985 For doing research!  BTW...college ;) - Rue Put him with Bruce.... - jbeining75 Its good to have company - smaug Thought this might help while your're sick. Hope you feel better soon. - ILuvMyGoldBarb 
    For the cards - William An Apple For Teaching Grad!  Congrats! - MeganL3985 You deserve to let yourself go for all the hard work you did to graduate!!! - Bolivian Ram Here's an apple for the teacher, great job Ellen - sailor A koi, because they love being in a school!! - smaug 
    Congrats on the job - sailor congrats on the job ! - Algenco For getting your teaching job - snipers_den Welcome back! - fins_n_fur merry xmas - smaug 
    For the new tank - Northernguy Way to go! DIY Stand. - Northernguy My condolances to you and your family. - Mith Good Luck, thanks for the rep! - Wild Turkey I thought you might like a Frontosa. - Brookfish 
    Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - Ellen4God Mourning - Anti-Gang - Melanoma - Ellen4God 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Wow - you're doing pretty well with the aquascaping! What are you planning to do fish wise in your tank? :)

    ...boo... I just found where you talked about it. The pretty pictures caught my attention!! lol I had a pair of GBR and tetras in my 20g long and LOVED it. I'm considering that for my 30g bowfront - just need to find a reputable GBR supplier! :) I got my pair from Algenco, but I haven't talked with him to see if he still has any.
    Last edited by Ellen4God; 11-15-2011 at 02:52 AM.

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks E4G! My current stock plan is changing every day. Until I get the fish in my tank I don't even know what I'll end up with. I first started wanting tiger barbs, angelfish, and peppered corys. Then I started getting some tips from this forum, and on top of that my LFS has shown me Snakeskin Barbs, 5 different types of Endlers, and countless tetras, rasboras, and catfish. My mind changes every time I go in there!

    For now I'm considering:
    12 neon tetras
    1 or 2 German blue rams
    6 panda corys

    My LFS has all of these constantly in stock, and the GBRs there look great. Hopefully I'll be able to get some better pictures soon, as the only ones I've taken of the tank so far are from my phone.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    3,321

    Awards Showcase

    You deserve a gift ! :) - MeganL3985 For doing research!  BTW...college ;) - Rue Put him with Bruce.... - jbeining75 Its good to have company - smaug Thought this might help while your're sick. Hope you feel better soon. - ILuvMyGoldBarb 
    For the cards - William An Apple For Teaching Grad!  Congrats! - MeganL3985 You deserve to let yourself go for all the hard work you did to graduate!!! - Bolivian Ram Here's an apple for the teacher, great job Ellen - sailor A koi, because they love being in a school!! - smaug 
    Congrats on the job - sailor congrats on the job ! - Algenco For getting your teaching job - snipers_den Welcome back! - fins_n_fur merry xmas - smaug 
    For the new tank - Northernguy Way to go! DIY Stand. - Northernguy My condolances to you and your family. - Mith Good Luck, thanks for the rep! - Wild Turkey I thought you might like a Frontosa. - Brookfish 
    Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - Ellen4God Mourning - Anti-Gang - Melanoma - Ellen4God 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by bmwguy525
    My LFS has all of these constantly in stock, and the GBRs there look great. Hopefully I'll be able to get some better pictures soon, as the only ones I've taken of the tank so far are from my phone.
    I'm glad you have a good LFS! I'm still trying to find a good one around here. We had one (other than PerSmart) awhile back, but it closed. Sad times.

    That stocking list sounds great!

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellen4God
    I'm glad you have a good LFS! I'm still trying to find a good one around here. We had one (other than PerSmart) awhile back, but it closed. Sad times.

    That stocking list sounds great!
    At least you have pesmart. The only petstore within 1.5hrs is going out of buisness. They never had anything good there anyways. I love to get fish from petsmart.
    Lots of tanks. Some tanks are planted. Fish include community and bettas.
    2 Dachshunds. Angel (Red) and Cookie (Chocolate Dapple).
    Shiny Things and Beauty the rabbits.
    RIP Princess and Max the Dachshunds, Tiger and Ping Pong the rabbits, and all the fishes from when I was a newbie.
    It is Ldoerr NOT Idoerr.
    Black kitten named Midnight that was found 10/29/12

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    After 3 weeks of the tank sitting and not being able to find ammonia anywhere locally, I decided to throw in a half dozen neon tetras and two otos to start stalking, cycling, and to help the plants out. My new 24" LED lighting came in yesterday and WOW what a difference!

    Original single t8 bulb


    New 24" LED w/ secondary moonlight setting


    New 24" LED moonlight


    Week 3 plant stock:
    Java Fern - lace
    Weeping Moss
    Anacharis
    Anubias
    Crypt Parva
    Compacta Sword
    Short grass (?)
    ??? (Large plant in rear left corner, might be large Anubias?)
    ??? (Busy plant bottom right corner)
    ??? (Skinny stem, bottom left corner)

    Week 3 fish stock:
    6 x Neon tetra
    2 x Oto

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    3,321

    Awards Showcase

    You deserve a gift ! :) - MeganL3985 For doing research!  BTW...college ;) - Rue Put him with Bruce.... - jbeining75 Its good to have company - smaug Thought this might help while your're sick. Hope you feel better soon. - ILuvMyGoldBarb 
    For the cards - William An Apple For Teaching Grad!  Congrats! - MeganL3985 You deserve to let yourself go for all the hard work you did to graduate!!! - Bolivian Ram Here's an apple for the teacher, great job Ellen - sailor A koi, because they love being in a school!! - smaug 
    Congrats on the job - sailor congrats on the job ! - Algenco For getting your teaching job - snipers_den Welcome back! - fins_n_fur merry xmas - smaug 
    For the new tank - Northernguy Way to go! DIY Stand. - Northernguy My condolances to you and your family. - Mith Good Luck, thanks for the rep! - Wild Turkey I thought you might like a Frontosa. - Brookfish 
    Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - Ellen4God Mourning - Anti-Gang - Melanoma - Ellen4God 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Congrats on the new fish. The neons may be able to make it if you're doing super consistent water changes, but I'd honestly take the otos back. They require a good bit of algae to be able to eat, which I'm guessing you don't have since it's a new tank. They're also very fragile, so they're not going to be able to handle the uncycled tank as well.

    If you're totally set on doing a cycle with fish, I also suggest you get some Seachem Stability to use during the cycle. I used it to do a fish cycle (and I'm considering using it again), and it worked well and the fish were fine. Make sure you follow the directions to the t!

    Regardless, I'm sure you're super excited about having fish. :)

    PS - I LOVE the new light!!!! What did you get? Are you using the same standard hood for it? I'd love to get some lights like that!!!!

  8. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellen4God
    Congrats on the new fish. The neons may be able to make it if you're doing super consistent water changes, but I'd honestly take the otos back. They require a good bit of algae to be able to eat, which I'm guessing you don't have since it's a new tank. They're also very fragile, so they're not going to be able to handle the uncycled tank as well.

    If you're totally set on doing a cycle with fish, I also suggest you get some Seachem Stability to use during the cycle. I used it to do a fish cycle (and I'm considering using it again), and it worked well and the fish were fine. Make sure you follow the directions to the t!

    Regardless, I'm sure you're super excited about having fish. :)

    PS - I LOVE the new light!!!! What did you get? Are you using the same standard hood for it? I'd love to get some lights like that!!!!
    Thanks for the tips, I'll definitely pick up some stability solution for this. I was definitely going to do a fishless cycle, but after three weeks of seeing additive and perfume filled ammonia in the local hardware stores, I figured I don't really have a choice besides adding fish food. Both impatience and a ton of reading led me to believe that I can keep my fish healthy during cycling.

    As for the otos, I will make sure to keep an eye on the two little guys. I was going to get some Jumbo Japonica shrimp, but they've been OOS from both my local pet store AND PetSmart for two weeks now. My tank is loaded with diatoms though, and my every part of the tank is littered with the stuff. I have had live plants in the tank since day one, and obviously it is very lush currently. I soaked the tank at 80 F for the first two weeks, lowered to 78 F, and now am down to 76-78 F. Over 48 hours the otos have been nonstop munching on the glass and plants, and only have about 20% of the plants clean, and haven't even started on the rocks or driftwood yet. I will make sure to read some more on otos and will take the right steps to make sure they're healthy.

    The lights are great! The LFS is selling a MarineLand version for $129. I found this one online by BeamsWork for $40, which has the same casing, the same three-way switch, and same lighting wattage, but with more smaller bulbs as opposed to MarineLand's fewer larger bulbs. My hood has a middle section of glass to allow the old casing w/ t8 bulb unit to fit in, but this new one fits right over the same spot and it works great! I'm glad I can still use the new hood, and the light is just awesome for the money. I purchased it from here and couldn't be happier with the product.
    Last edited by bmwguy525; 11-18-2011 at 10:31 PM.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    3,321

    Awards Showcase

    You deserve a gift ! :) - MeganL3985 For doing research!  BTW...college ;) - Rue Put him with Bruce.... - jbeining75 Its good to have company - smaug Thought this might help while your're sick. Hope you feel better soon. - ILuvMyGoldBarb 
    For the cards - William An Apple For Teaching Grad!  Congrats! - MeganL3985 You deserve to let yourself go for all the hard work you did to graduate!!! - Bolivian Ram Here's an apple for the teacher, great job Ellen - sailor A koi, because they love being in a school!! - smaug 
    Congrats on the job - sailor congrats on the job ! - Algenco For getting your teaching job - snipers_den Welcome back! - fins_n_fur merry xmas - smaug 
    For the new tank - Northernguy Way to go! DIY Stand. - Northernguy My condolances to you and your family. - Mith Good Luck, thanks for the rep! - Wild Turkey I thought you might like a Frontosa. - Brookfish 
    Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - Ellen4God Mourning - Anti-Gang - Melanoma - Ellen4God 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by bmwguy525
    Thanks for the tips, I'll definitely pick up some stability solution for this. I was definitely going to do a fishless cycle, but after three weeks of seeing additive and perfume filled ammonia in the local hardware stores, I figured I don't really have a choice besides adding fish food. Both impatience and a ton of reading led me to believe that I can keep my fish healthy during cycling.
    Impatience is what got me when I cycled with fish - I couldn't wait to get them!. If I noticed them being stressed or struggling while I had them in the tank during cycling, I wouldn't do it again. However, they were fine and didn't seem stressed at all. I just followed the directions exactly and did super frequent and consistent water changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmwguy525
    As for the otos, I will make sure to keep an eye on the two little guys. I was going to get some Jumbo Japonica shrimp, but they've been OOS from both my local pet store AND PetSmart for two weeks now. My tank is loaded with diatoms though, and my every part of the tank is littered with the stuff. I have had live plants in the tank since day one, and obviously it is very lush currently. I soaked the tank at 80 F for the first two weeks, lowered to 78 F, and now am down to 76-78 F. Over 48 hours the otos have been nonstop munching on the glass and plants, and only have about 20% of the plants clean, and haven't even started on the rocks or driftwood yet. I will make sure to read some more on otos and will take the right steps to make sure they're healthy.
    Ah, they should be good then! If you notice that they need some extra food because they thin out their supply too much, you can get some algea wafers, however I had a hard time getting my otos to actually eat them. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by bmwguy525
    The lights are great! The LFS is selling a MarineLand version for $129. I found this one online by BeamsWork for $40, which has the same casing, the same three-way switch, and same lighting wattage, but with more smaller bulbs as opposed to MarineLand's fewer larger bulbs. My hood has a middle section of glass to allow the old casing w/ t8 bulb unit to fit in, but this new one fits right over the same spot and it works great! I'm glad I can still use the new hood, and the light is just awesome for the money. I purchased it from here and couldn't be happier with the product.
    Nice!! I'll definitely look into that for sure! Thanks for sharing. :)

  10. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Things are going swimmingly so far.

    The new LED lights fill the entirety of the tank, making me know for sure that the single t8 bulb I previously had was definitely not enough light for the plants in this tank. They have continuously gotten fuller, greener, and are growing daily.

    The initial inhabitants are doing just fine, and I feel pretty good about their environment and health. The biggest neon tetra had a big belly the night I got them all home from the LFS earlier this week, but it has since subsided. I don't know if she laid eggs, as there are plenty of leafy areas in the tank where I wouldn't be able to see them, or if she was just a big eater at the fish store, but whatever the case she is just fine and active as the others.

    The otos are funny little guys, but have completely different attitudes. I got them here when they were both approximately the same size, but one of them is now a size and a half of the other. The smaller one spends a lot of time upside down under the driftwood, but I constantly seem him shifting and wiggling his tail, so I'm assuming he's found some stuff to munch on under there. The diatoms are almost gone off all the plants, and they are now working on the rocks crevices and driftwood. I also tossed in a cucumber slice over night, and they've both been eating that off and on, but whenever I walk by the glass they scram.

    I only have a phone to take pictures for now, but maybe in a few weeks I'll get my hands on a better camera.

    I'm going to do some pruning for the first time today, as the grass and the anacharis need some trimming, and I'm also going to cut off a fewer of the weaker leaves to incite some new growth.

    Here it is as of this morning



    The single long stretching anacharis is actually uprooted, and is about half as tall as it appears there.

    Last edited by bmwguy525; 11-20-2011 at 09:03 PM.

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