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My First Planted Tank

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:45 pm
by Studman0143
I have decided to start my first journal. It is of my first ever planted tank that I started in October 2010.
I am 100% open for suggestions, feedback, criticism, questions, :twocents: , etc. I've had fish before, but this is my first shot at plants. I think I've started out decently as I have never lost a plant and they seem to keep growing. Same with the fish, only 1 death since October, not bad I'd say for me! ENJOY!

Current Setup:

Top Fin 10 filter
Bubble Wall created by a
Corallife Color-enhancing bulb x1
Marineland 5100K ( I think) bulb x1
Live Substrate (I don't remember the name of it, I threw away the bag when I moved but got it at a LPS)
Top Fin Air Pump 1000

Fish:
2x Lamp-Eye Tetras
2x Long-Fin Red Minor Tetras
1x Sunburst Platy (raised from a fry)
1x Unknown Platy
2x Flame Tetras (Got them 2 weeks ago in a package deal when I bought a 20G long)
2x Otos
2x Ghost Shrimp
1,000x Wayyyyyyy too many snails (Rookie mistake from the beginning)

(I originally had 3x red minors, but one died just a month ago and I got those other two tetras before I could replace it)


Plants:

1x Amazon Sword Plant
7x Scarlet Temple
1x Java Fern
Bundle of Anacharis (I grow it for my turtle)
3x Umbrella Plant (Got if for free, just gonna keep it in there til it dies, I know its a bog plant)
1x Micro Sword Plant (came potted)
Duck weed
Java Moss


I dose the tank maybe twice a month with Seachem Products: Excel, Flourish, Iron, and Potassium.

Here are some shots from when I first set up the tank. Plants have since been moved around, and some sold off. The scarlet temples I cut and replanted and they haven't grown as long of stems ever since. They stay short and stout. Weird.

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^My dog hides by my tank for comfort when my wife Vacuums. It's the only full shot I have of the tank when originally set up.


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^I got creative with some gems. Made a nice walkway into the bubbles. :D

Recent Pictures

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:50 pm
by Studman0143
Here are pictures of the most recent setup. I don't really have a huge purpose for this tank except that its my trial and error tank. I try to watch the plants as much as I can to see how they grow, their reactions to light, current, movement, fish, etc. I'll use it to splice or duplicate plants i.e. right now I'm trying to do so with my Amazon Sword.


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^An inside view

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^Here is my unidentified Platy. It's the red/white/black one in the back. Any idea?

Re: My First Planted Tank

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:02 pm
by ScottFish
Thanks JJ for this journal and the pictures. Alot to look at. Is this a 10 gal. or a 5 gal.? Of course, your dog might be a giant and is throwing me off the actual scale! I hope your dog just didn't have a fish snack!

Re: My First Planted Tank

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:05 pm
by Studman0143
ScottFish wrote:Thanks JJ for this journal and the pictures. Alot to look at. Is this a 10 gal. or a 5 gal.? Of course, your dog might be a giant and is throwing me off the actual scale! I hope your dog just didn't have a fish snack!


Wow, of all things not to post, I didn't put its size. It's a 10G.

Re: My First Planted Tank

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:08 pm
by J.B.
It looks like you might have some non-aquatic plants in there, but it's hard to tell for sure from the photos.

Psssstt...JJ, small hint to help out with your pics :whistle:


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Re: My First Planted Tank

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:10 pm
by ScottFish
Sheez JB ...product placement ---really!

Re: My First Planted Tank

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:14 pm
by freshfish
I'm afraid JB may be right about the non-aquatics. Looks like there's some Mondo grass in there?

Also, the Scarlet temple (A. reneckii) tends to be a bit of a more challenging plant, usually needing CO2, at least moderate lighting, and plenty of ferts. So don't kick yourself if it doesn't do so well. Most of the rest of the plants look pretty good, though.

Re: My First Planted Tank

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:28 pm
by Studman0143
J.B. wrote:It looks like you might have some non-aquatic plants in there, but it's hard to tell for sure from the photos.

Psssstt...JJ, small hint to help out with your pics :whistle:


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Haha, yeah I know, I'm just extremely lazy. You should see my turtle tank.

And yes, I have a few non-aquatic plants in there, its the Umbrella plant. And yeah, I totally forgot I had the Mondo grass in the back. It's just there because. I don't pay any attention to it. Everything else is aquatic, from what I know, unless I've been doing bad research.

Yeah, i have heard the A. reneckii is challenging, but to show progress, you see the 4-5 really small ones in the middle, well, the three on the far left side looked like that just over a month ago.

Re: My First Planted Tank

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:02 am
by keith1937
http://www.aquascapingworld.com/forum/

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/

Personally I think it would be a good idea to start doing a lot of research on, Plants, and Aquascaping.

Briefly here are a few criticism.

Plants not for aquariums, they will slowly die and start polluting the tank.

Amazon Sword too big for that small tank especially in that position.

Duck weed and that's what it is a 'Weed" it clogs up a tank and filters.

The tank has algae ever where.

When did you do a deep gravel vac and clean the glass inside and outside last?

Sorry to be so critical but that is what I see.

Keith :whistle: :whistle:

Re: My First Planted Tank

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:20 pm
by Studman0143
keith1937 wrote:http://www.aquascapingworld.com/forum/

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/

Personally I think it would be a good idea to start doing a lot of research on, Plants, and Aquascaping.
Briefly here are a few criticism.
Plants not for aquariums, they will slowly die and start polluting the tank.
Amazon Sword too big for that small tank especially in that position.
Duck weed and that's what it is a 'Weed" it clogs up a tank and filters.
The tank has algae ever where.
When did you do a deep gravel vac and clean the glass inside and outside last?
Sorry to be so critical but that is what I see.
Keith :whistle: :whistle:


Yeah I thoroughly enjoy doing research on this stuff so thanks for the sites.
The amazing sword has never gotten bigger than what you see. It will go in my 29g when the time comes. For now I just trim it when it gets to bushy and feed to leaves to my turtle.

I clean the inside of the tank maybe once a month. The algae seems to be growing extremely slowly on the walls so I don't care if it builds up a little. Plus I'm limited on time recently because of school no know it's not the proper methOd but I'll get better. And if you notice I have that fish feeder below the filter that prevents the duckweed from clogging up anything. I think it's fine how it is.
And I've never done a vacuum because I don't own one. I'll get rid of the bog Plants here soon. I know they do me no good.
Thanks

Re: My First Planted Tank

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:19 pm
by kb46
Hey - I think you're doing just fine.

That level of algae doesn't bother me in my tanks either - some of us have more time than others to be fastidious! :D (Although I have found that long term algae can be extremely hard to shift when you finally catch the cleaning bug - a bit of a stitch in time thing.)

I wouldn't be doing a deep gravel clean with so many rooted plants around :twocents: so you won't be alone if you choose not to buy a gravel vac. We all choose different ways to maintain our tanks. I have found it easiest to maintain planted tanks with sand rather than gravel - that way big detritus doesn't fall down into the substrate and rot. I still use my gravel vac to suck up detritus from around the base of my plants and driftwood with water changes.

Your duckweed will be blocking a lot of light to the plants below if you keep it covering the whole surface as it is in the photos. I hope that part of your maintenance routine is to clear out 90% of it every couple of weeks so the plants below can sunbathe a bit.

Kylie

Re: My First Planted Tank

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:01 am
by Crazygar
Get the tank onto a stand. Having a tank directly on the floor seems like a good idea at first, but you'll have a few issues with it based on the floor.

The tank looks fine, yes, there is some Mondo Grass (which suits Paladariums) there which needs to be removed. Even I have had some issues with A.reinekii, which is a really demanding plant. Loads of light, loads of nutrients, loads of CO and ensure no Angel Fish (for some weird reason, Angels will eat this plant down to the stem).

What I usually do before I start up a planted tank is look at pictures and see what inspires you the most. Then try and re-create it.

Those Swords will get HUGE for that tank. Anacharis does not like being planted, and prefers cooler waters.

Gary

Re: My First Planted Tank

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:18 pm
by ScottFish
I like to think of a planted tank as a puzzle that you'll never complete, but the fun is in trying. You'll discover which plants thrive and will plant more of them, and then 3 months later redesign everything just for fun! JB is famous for his "re-dos". We are all a very odd lot!

Re: My First Planted Tank

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:29 pm
by Crazygar
I don't want to see you fall into despair if things go South Studman, sometimes you'll find the answers to your question brutally honest but we are trying to help. It's easy to work your way into a planted tank (as I did) than jump into it two feet and hands.

Gary

Re: My First Planted Tank

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:50 pm
by Studman0143
kb46 wrote:Hey - I think you're doing just fine.

That level of algae doesn't bother me in my tanks either - some of us have more time than others to be fastidious! :D (Although I have found that long term algae can be extremely hard to shift when you finally catch the cleaning bug - a bit of a stitch in time thing.)

I wouldn't be doing a deep gravel clean with so many rooted plants around :twocents: so you won't be alone if you choose not to buy a gravel vac. We all choose different ways to maintain our tanks. I have found it easiest to maintain planted tanks with sand rather than gravel - that way big detritus doesn't fall down into the substrate and rot. I still use my gravel vac to suck up detritus from around the base of my plants and driftwood with water changes.

Your duckweed will be blocking a lot of light to the plants below if you keep it covering the whole surface as it is in the photos. I hope that part of your maintenance routine is to clear out 90% of it every couple of weeks so the plants below can sunbathe a bit.

Kylie


Hey thanks, it's different for all of us. The main reason I never looked into a vacuum is because of the amount of plants I have. I would hate to uproot everything just to vacuum and that can't be healthy for the plants.

As for the duckweed I have been getting rid of about 1/2 of it weekly, but you're right, I should do more to let the plants get full light. I've thought of that, just have never done it. So thanks!

Get the tank onto a stand. Having a tank directly on the floor seems like a good idea at first, but you'll have a few issues with it based on the floor.

What I usually do before I start up a planted tank is look at pictures and see what inspires you the most. Then try and re-create it


Yeah, it isn't a great idea to have it on the floor, but I finally have a stand for it. It will be going on a long table along side my 29G. So that will definitely solve that problem. Thanks for the feedback.

And i'll actually be building a layout of my "perfect-once" tank on photoshop. I'll share that with you when it's complete. I'm very excited!