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About Me

  1. Hello Everyone, I've been trying to get my feet wet on the forums and not sure where to begin with this one. Of note, I started with some smaller tanks, then got a 55G tank which eventually became a 75G tank. I always had this 29G off to the side and in my room for my personal focus and enjoyment while the larger tank was intended for a more relaxing atmosphere. Because of everything going on in the world, we ended up moving and the result of that is that I'm in a house now where there is probably 2 spots in the entire house where the concrete floor is actually flat. (I really hate it when people who don't know what they are doing, think they can just add a floor to their house or add rooms). Needless to say, whatever is up with this house, it's been a bit of an issue. So, I can't setup the 75G tank and I am down to only having my 29G tank with some of the inhabitants from that original 79G, and namely my black corydoras that called it home originally. I purchased these to try to have some passive income, enjoyment, and it's been a heck of a journey trying to get them to a decent spawn. I have raised two fry, but I should have a tank flooded with these guys. They spawned for me about 5-6 months ago and there was a massive amount of eggs everywhere. By the time I had ordered the egg tumbler and breeder box, about half the eggs were fungused over and then at that point they started to just deteriorate or be eaten at night. (that pleco was moved to a 10G tank I have off to the side to help with algae) *deep breath* This tank is also the focus I've been talking with Bentley about his "one tank a a time" series. Before the move, all is well, after the move, fish in tubs for a while, and once I needed to drop heaters back in for winter I had no choice but to setup this tank for them again. Once i got the tank setup, I hit the reset button a bit on the substrate, moved in some different plants, and tried to recover some of my anubias that had been with me for years at this point. At this point is what you see here. After the eggs were gone, a little bit of black and brown algae started to set in. I had stuff under control, made an adjustment with the lights and ended up with the following. Once we all got sick this past January, my tanks lost power and things got even worse. I was in a different room with the pups and it took me far longer than it should've to see the issue with the filter. My 10G crashed, shrimp died, pleco died, but thankfully my 29G had turned back on and seemed to be doing OK. The exception being that algae which had now insanely overtaken everything and I had longer strands of hair algae, staghorn algae, BBA, and the brush algae on everything. I decided to order from aquahuna and got some amanos in. I had cleaned out the local store of their amanos (insanely small size) and replenished the 10G tank with their algae team. After a few days.... this is the same plant in the photo above. Yesterday, before cleaning, I took this photo shown below just to show where things were really at. There is some algae on the sides (I won't scrape it because I want the otos to have it. I also want to get the filter intake cleaned, but it's just a nightmare at this point. The wood is slowly being cleaned by the shrimp, the rocks and plants were their focus up front. So at this point in time the tank is a bit better off and feels like we're getting back to a "good spot". After cleaning, current status, this is where we are now. A lot of the fish besides the corys hang out in their caves all day, but let's talk a bit about the scape, stocking, and why some of the choices are what they are. Current plan: Dwarf Hairgrass carpet, Sterogyne Repens off to the left side (light will be centered at that point), moss on the wood and on the back wall, and some Anubias Coffefolia for the corys to lay eggs. Stocking: 3x Black Venesualan Corys, 2 Cory fry, 2 clown plecos, 4 Otos, "plenty" of amano shrimp, and my red tailed black shark names grace that has been with me for close to 5 years. Scape: I have the Bubble bio as a focal simply because I like the ability to polish the water and it is very easy to clean. The shrimp enjoy it, corys enjoy it, it's been a successful tool for me in this tank as well as the 75G. On the back right side I have an airstone setup. The pump I have is slightly too strong and so I need a way to control the air a bit. I plan to replace the pump and remove the stone as soon as the co-op releases their usb-c version. The stone is setup so that in a moment I can add the hang-on breeder box or the egg tumbler and not have to mess with too much as well. It's something the otos enjoy. The rocks I have in here right now are Seiryu, something for the shrimp specifically, but these are also the rocks I had when I first started getting success from the panda corys. I had some moss on the rocks, the fry can get into these really small crevaces and hide from the adults. I have some other rocks I can swap in, but the goal is to get plants settled and hopefully the rocks themselves will just be more aesthetically there for the corys to swim around. They generally enjoy the open tank, and hiding out of sight of the room. Once there are more plants I know they will relax a bit better. At this point, I need to figure out what moss to use on the back wall. I want to get some susswassertang somewhere and I will absolutely need to find a good source for it. That texture is what these corys prefer to spawn. Moss is definitely going to expedite the process but I truly believe in my 2-3 year journey with these guys that they will spawn on susswassertang without fail. I have already ordered the quilted mesh to mount to the back wall to do so. I've had mops in their tank (and tub) and haven't had much success. Believe me..... that moment I saw the two little cory fry hanging out after I had lost all the eggs was a momentous occasion. This was the tank when it was first setup, for posterity. I was so excited to see it do well. I lost the DHG simply because it was not planted deep enough. Tough, but I re-ordered some more and learned that lesson. I am waiting for that Anubias to be in stock and I have an order ready to go for the co-op. And of course..... The real MVP of this one. Needless to say, I hope I turn a corner with this one pretty soon. I feel like things are getting back to where they need to be and I might have a really nice planted tank again. It's been about.... 2 years I feel like, trying to get to this point and feel like I can get the plants where I want them to be. This is tank right after setup and moving to the new house. A lot has changed since then but I had some high hopes for this scape and this setup. It's been a journey. I ended up losing all of these plants because I didn't plant them deep enough and the flow on the tidal was just too much (and the fish pulled some out). I replaced all of these plants with 3 pots a bit on the right side. I added the rocks as cover on the right side for the corys as well as tried to salvage some of the anubias from the tubs. I really enjoy the look of the tank in this photo specifically and hope to get back to it.
  2. Hi All! The Java fern in my 5g has gotten *really* rough looking and is in desperate need of potassium. I have Seachem Potassium that I used to add to the tank when it was only a snail tank but I'm afraid to continue to add it to the tank with a bunch of shrimplets swimming around now. If it is safe, what should the dosing schedule be to slowly increase the potassium without a major adjustment? Does anyone use the Salifert potassium test kit? Is it worth buying? Is that the only way to know how much I'm increasing the potassium in ppm? Should I even go that far and buy the kit? Thank you so much for your help! 🌱
  3. Hi All, My Crypt looks like it is dying.... the water parameters are good and well within range. I use root tabs every 30 days, easy green twice a week, and easy iron once a week. There are two crypts in the tank.... one is doing well, the other is not. The tank (20gal) is 97 days old, has little cherry and blue shrimps (10), otos (2) and endlers livebearers (3). What can I do to save my crypt? Tank 30 days ago ( no floating plants) Tank 2 days ago, crypt dying? Other crypt looks good. Close up of dying crypt close up of other crypt
  4. I have an idea. If you can do a geographically accurate biotope aquarium, why can't you do a historically accurate aquarium. Sort of a historotope if I'm allowed one neologism here. At an estate sale a while back, I acquired a 1930s era aquarium with a metal frame and a slate bottom. This is not one of those stainless steel MetaFrame aquariums everyone (including me) had back in the 1960s and the 1970s. It is clearly something much older. Everything about the aquarium was in good shape when I got it, and it was watertight. Last year when I was using it to grow mosquito larva outside I forgot to bring it in when it got cold. When ice formed in the tank the expanding ice blew out one of the glass sides. So, what might the rules be for a historotope? Rules: You are only allowed to use equipment available during your chosen time period. You are only allowed to keep fishes that were available during your chosen time period. You must use historically accurate foods. You must use historically accurate plants. You must use historically accurate substrate and decorations. You must use historically accurate maintenance methods. Since I have the aquarium (once I get it repaired), my chosen time period will be the mid-1930s in the United States. My first step is to get the tank water tight again. I will post more later as this experiment progresses and your thoughts and suggestions come in.
  5. 5 Gallon Fluval Spec For my first tank back to the hobby I wanted to do another nano tank since that's what I'm familiar with, and also living at home easier to talk my family into, and decided to go with the Spec because I like how sleek it looks and it fits on my desk with room for my school notebooks for when I'm in classes. Originally I was going to do a completely plant and driftwood tank but then I found a cool Star Wars AT-AT aquarium decoration on Amazon and decided to do a themed tank. The overall goal is a lush green tank (while still low tech) so it looks like an overgrown lush forest with the AT-AT as the only non natural element in it. Unsure if I'm going to stock anything in it or leave it just plants but if anything I may do some Neocaridina once the tank is established. I decided to use Fluval Stratum because I've heard good things about it and I like how it looks. Plants I'm for sure adding and already have in my possession are Monte Carlo, Crypt Wendtii Green, and Pogo Stellatus Octopus. Plants I'm considering are Java Fern, Anubias Nana petite, and possibly some type of floater. I'm open to suggestions. The tank is still settling from being filled but I thought I'd include anyway. The light was only put on it for the picture which is why it's a bit crooked, and the angle I was taking the picture at seemed to catch the blue LED's more than the white ones it doesn't have a background on it, though I am considering a black one.
  6. (1) Purchased supplies (with links) Petsmart: Aquarium stand (no link - moderator edit) Petco: 29 gallon tank and top (no link - moderator edit) Chewy: substrate and shovel (no links - moderator edit) Amazon: heater (no links - moderator edit) Aquarium Co-Op: Sponge Filter, Air Stone, Check Valve, Easy Green Fertilizer, Root Tabs, Scissors, Tweezers, Multi-Test Strips, and Ammonia Test Strips Etsy: plants and hardscape (no links - moderator edit) Facebook Marketplace: Fluval light (no links - moderator edit) *** I used money from our tax return to fund my new obsession 😁 (2) Preparing Plants I first drained the liquid from the eco-complete substrate, then poured both bags into the tank, and smoothed it out with my aquarium shovel. I drained the activ-flora substrate and then, a few cups at a time, I rinsed the rocks off in water and placed over the previously laid substrate. I originally placed the sponge filter and heater in the left corner of the tank but wound up moving them to almost the center (I will explain why later on) Because I have not yet purchased the handy python syphon I had to carry buckets of water from the kitchen which I poured into a strainer over the tank. I de-chlorinated the water and then began planting using my tweezers. 1 loose of anubias nana thick leaf 1 loose of anubias barteri Round 1 bundle of Hygrophila Corymbosa 1 loose of anubias species Golden 1 loose of Anubias coffefolia 1 cup of Red Root Floater 1 Potted of Cryptocoryne Usteriana Red 1 Bundle of Ammania Gracilis 1 Loose of Nymphaea Rubra Bulb 1 Bundle of Lagenandra Meeboldii Red Round 1 Bundle of Echinodorus Red Rubin 1 Bundle of Ludwigia Ovalis 1 Bundle of Echinodorus Hadi Red Pearl The problem for me was that the only plants labeled were the red root floaters 😐 I had it figured out which plants would go where due to height and lighting needs but I felt thwarted without the labels. So, I just started planting blindly, inserted root tabs, and fertilized the tank. After a few days, I decided to trip away some of the old stems so the plant would focus on the new and I had three of the plants melt on me. (3) Preparing Hardscape I scrubbed the rocks with a bristle dish brush and rinsed them (it was recommended not to boil them as rocks tend to explode 😳) I then (to my husband's horror) took one of our stock pots and boiled the driftwood for 3 hours (turning it over halfway since it was to large to fully fit) Afterwards I placed the driftwood in a clear bucket, so I could watch the color of the water turn and know when I felt it was acceptable to place in my tank) and left it there for a week before taking it out to boil it again. I did this to try to speed up the tannin release process. *** It still has not sunk on its own; therefore, I am probably going to resort to securing it to a rock. The rocks are in place and holding down the 3 anubi that did not melt. (4) Minor Adjustments I am re-positioning the heater horizontally in hopes that it better disperses the heat since I will be housing tropical fish. I want to purchase another heater since having two causes less stress on them and provides some security if one were to go out. I re-positioned the sponge filter to be more central since I found the other side of the tank to be stagnate with it only on the left side. I wish to purchase aquarium co-op's air pump since I think it will do a better job than this one is. Right now my light is set to 50% intensity for 3 hours with a 2 hour break and then set for another 3 hours. I will increase both the time and intensity as the weeks go on. I am looking at placing my one fish, Ruby the betta, in the tank this week and then purchasing one set of the following species below this weekend to get started on my community tank! 😃 3 oto catfish 6 albino corydoras 6 rummynose tetras 1 mystery snail *** Ruby in his current 5-gallon non-planted tank
  7. My 9.5 gallon household plant experiment My apologies for this very image heavy thread but I like taking pictures of my tanks and I have no where else to share them. Sorry. Photo taken March 15, 2022 Hey all! It has been quite a while since I've been active on here. Life got busy and I kind of took a passive break from the hobby where I was sustaining my existing tanks but not really much else. I was inspired last year to make a new build and I documented my journey. The tank itself I bought a couple years ago and it had been sitting unused in its original shipping box. My ultimate goal was to only use supplies I already had. Sorry in advance to what is going to be a very long post but I've got months of content to share at once. Most photos are taken on my phone and are questionable but I did try to take some with my camera as well so quality is kind of all over the place. If anyone here happens to remember me somehow then you know that I love plants and I love combining my love of houseplants with my love of aquariums. This build is no different. Before I go into detail there are a few problems that I have been having with the tank. They're "good" problems but problems still. I'll go into more detail on how I've been trying to solve them but the biggest is that the large amounts of plants are just stripping the water of its minerals and nutrients. Also tannins. I always forget about tannins. Tank Specs Size: 9.5g 17.7"Lx11"Wx11.8"H Filtration: water pumped over a log through plants, basically just plants Heat: more temperate, it ranges from 72-77F Stocking: initially I was open to anything that could handle sub 77F temps Tank Build October 13, 2021 I knew that I wanted a lot of emersed growth so I could grow cuttings from my houseplant collection out of it to root. I set up the driftwood in a way that would allow me to set up a small pump to pump water over the wood as the form of filtration. My ultimate goal was to have the plants growing on this driftwood to filter the water. I got lucky that they all kinda fit together and there was one pretty wide/broad pieces that already had a hole perfect for a water fall. For the substrate I used a mix of eco-complete, fluorite, safe-t-sorb (already seeded from a different tank), and fluval stratum. I basically threw a bunch of extra substrates I had together but I wanted a courser, more natural looking blend that could absorb nutrients from the water well. I used some seiryu stone I had to add some dimension and help secure the driftwood. Below are my notes screenshots where I drew my plan. I love using this on my phone since I can quickly snap a photo and mark it up to help myself visualize what I want the outcome to be. The mister ended up not working, the plant growth and moss covered it up too much and I kinda can't access underneath the driftwood anymore to adjust it (or the pump, also a future problem for me). I used the rocks to hide the small pump underneath the driftwood and I added some java moss to the opening to help angle the water flow correctly. My hope was that the moss would attach to the driftwood and I can use that as the base to grow plants off of. You can see that there is very good flow across the length of the wood and it pours off in two spots (this is foreshadowing to some future problems once this moss did attach itself). The is a day after I first filled it and yes, there are tannins. Now I did not want this to become a black water tank, at all, but it happened. Smart me would have taken it apart and boiled the driftwood but I was lazy and figured it would eventually go away. It did not. I now have another black water tank. I am using poth-o-carry, i personally like them and it's an easy way to plop cuttings into the tank. I ended up adding a third one later on. October 18, 2021 I added my first batch of plants and I am letting you all know that the dwarf papyrus, rabbit foot fern and holy basil eventually did not make it. The papyrus did well until I cut it back and it never recovered. The holy basil crisped up pretty quickly, I should have stuck with a standard variety but I like experimenting. The rabbit foot fern was already on its way out (clearance bin from a big box store, love experimenting with those since its only a couple bucks if it doesn't work) and me shoving it in moss and a higher humidity environment was a hail mary that did not work. My other mistake that didn't really become apparent was that I really should have potted that big elephant ear somehow to contain the roots. I've grown a lot of different alo/colocasias and I really should have known better but I thought it would be alright. I did add some more moss to the driftwood. it's a mix of java, subwassertang, and riccia flutens. October 20, 2021 I decided to add a few cuttings I took of some pilea glauca "aquamarine", tradescantia zebrina, and a few others. RIP to the pilea, it did not die but you never see it cause it's hidden under everything. The zebrina took over the driftwood naturally. I also shoved some baby elephant ear bulbs I took from my outdoor plants and shoved them into the moss. This actually has been working long term with keeping the roots more contained and the leaves smaller and more manageable. November 25, 2021 Over a month later and the zebrina is starting to form a nice cover. Take note of the sad looking moss, once it converts it really looks cool. Lots of melt back and such from the plants which is to be expected as well, there will always be a period of ugly before the plants adjust. I also wanted to highlight this publyx splash, you will see it in recent photos and it has grown. This was a clipping from an old plant my mum got rid of a while ago. It sat in a jar of water for a long time not really growing. The elephant ear bulb threw some leaves out. I also added a snake plant cutting to root, some aloe cuttings, various pothos cuttings, and a good sized air plant. This was when I decided to start throwing different cuttings in to see which thrived and which didn't do too well. Elephant ear roots when they're not planted and are forced to only get nutrients from the water. Still a lot but much more manageable. The pilea flowered, given that it has only been a month since it was a fresh cutting that's kinda impressive in my opinion. It still regularly flowers for me alongside the zebrina. The tank also looked bare inside for me so I ended up taking a medusa statue I had in a different tank and moving it to this one. This is my favorite addition and has had the unplanned effect of the statue slowly appearing out of the water as the water evaporates. Yes, the basil is gone. It got crispy within a couple weeks and I ended up pulling it. The papyrus is still doing very well and this might be the last time the pretty pilea is that visible. December 6, 2021 The tank is not this dark in person and you can still see the green plants inside but the dramatic lighting difference means cameras make it dark. The tank is not this dark in person and you can still see the green plants inside but the dramatic lighting difference means cameras make it dark. December 13, 2021 Up until now I only had snails in the tank. I was asked to take in a couple pea puffers so I decided to make them the inhabitants. The issue is that I very rarely saw them, they were very shy and with how dark the tank is they may as well have not been there. This photo also gives a nice glimpse into my elephant ear root problem. In a way the black water aspect of the tank makes the roots fit in much better with the overall vibe but I gave up on trimming them. I think trimming them encouraged them to grow even more. Rare glimpse of one of the puffers, I later add more fish which really helped bring them out. Also so sorry about the quality, it was dark and my phone just butchered the photo (I did have to do like 10x zoom too). Those roots are everywhere. December 15, 2021 The fateful day I noticed mealies on the elephant ears, the dwarf papyrus, and some others. The cuttings that had obvious mealies were removed but my only option with the papyrus was to chop it down, so I did. It unfortunately never recovered from this but I was able to get the mealies under control. The elephant ears were all chopped down as well but that honestly does nothing to slow elephant ears down. December 29, 2021 Full tank shot as of now. The elephant ears pushed out new leaves quickly and everything else is settling in nicely. The moss is still in the process of converting. This site keeps auto rotating my vertical photos randomly and I can't figure out how to fix it. Sorry. January 5, 2022 New year means adding some more cuttings. I went around my plant room and clipped whatever I thought would adjust well. I also added some more riccia to the driftwood. March 16, 2022 I ended up adding more cuttings over the last couple of months but I didn't really take photos. I wanted to share a photo drop of how it is looking now before I go into the problems I am having and how I plan to fix them. Since January I did end up adding quite a few fish in and this has made the puffers more comfortable. I initially added in 5 celestial pearl danios someone rehomed to me alongside some guppy/endler hybrids and some baby platies. This last saturday I impulse bought a trio of gardneri killis at a local swap event that I also added. I'm hoping they help control the fry population a bit as well since these are breeding out of control. The second purpose of adding way more fish in was because I could not keep up with fertilizing this tank. The two puffers and hundreds of snails were not enough and I was dosing easy green constantly. Hopefully the large bioload helps a little and it seems to be working well. I picked up this painting from a local artist and it felt like a good place to hang it. I am really happy that I added that statue in, before I would have to stay on top of evaporation since it made it look somewhat unflattering but now you can watch the statue slowly reveal itself which is fun. I have a very strong full spectrum light hanging for the emersed growth and it is blasting this tank. The statue has grown a nice layer of algae and the plants are thriving under it. corner view of the tank, you can see just how dense all of the growth is. The publyx from before, you can see it extended in the back as well from where I trimmed this original cutting into two. I've been trying to add different colors and textures to the tank. This is the back of the tank, I never removed the papyrus stumps in the hope that maybe they'll come back. Their roots were also pretty big so pulling them is gonna make a massive mess in the tank. That snake plant cutting has not only rooted but made a baby of its own! I took off the air plant to show the plants hidden behind. I I know I keep harping about this statue but it may be my favorite tank decoration I've had and I feel like this tank was made for it. The previous tank it was in I ended up rehauling as well. You can see the converted moss on the right piece of driftwood which I think adds a really cool touch aesthetically and functionally. All of the moss as converted on the main dirftwood. A small glimpse into the ever growing livebearer colony. There has to be 30+ of them at this point + lots of new fry swimming on top yet my nitrates barely show on the strips so I still have to dose easy green 2-3x a week. Some plant highlights. I will be hiding that cord somehow. I will be posting a comment with my troubleshooting, problems, etc. I took notes for a while where I was testing marine reef salt to help buffer the water and I'll type them all out tonight. As always I'd love to hear feedback, comments, etc. If you have any questions I can try to answer them as well. I hope you all enjoyed my ongoing journey and I really will try to be more active on here.
  8. Hi, I’m currently cycling with plants & Fluval stratum. I’m about entering week 2. I just dosed with easy green fertilizer for the first time since I saw some growth on the plants. My KH 0 PH 6.0-6.5 GH 300 ammonia 0 nitrites 5 ppm nitrates 20ppm *just dosed with easy green prior to testing* My question is: does anyone else use Fluval stratum in a betta fish tank with snails? & Has anyone had any luck or experience using Fluval Stratum & Seachem Alkaline Buffer together? What were your results? My Ph seems really low and I don’t have any KH after 24 hours from adding water after my water change. I want to try and raise the ph so I can cycle my tank more efficiently. But from what I was reading I can’t use crushed coral to increase KH & PH because my hardness is already 300 so then I saw Seachem alkaline buffer. I do understand that the FS has buffering but I’m trying to wear it down faster or stabilize the ph. My tap water has nitrates 20ppm, ph 7.5, kh 40, GH 300.
  9. Just added water to my new 55 gallon tank set-up. A special thanks to the Aquarium Co-Op team. My plants arrived and look great! Water is still a little misty from my substrate and tap, but I'm excited to be up and running. The aquarium sits on a custom stand I built myself. This was such a fun project, and my intention is to add a group of freshwater angels and some other community fish once things get established. Thanks again to the Aquarium Co-Op team!
  10. Well, this makes it all seem very real, my very own journey thread. A lot has been going on with my tanks the last few months, and the changes happening in the next few months will be very exciting! I guess a bit of an intro is needed. I have had tanks off and on for many years, but usually stuck to smaller betta set ups because I was in rentals with limits to tank size. August 2020 I took a leap and decided to get back into the aquarium hobby. I had a perfect wall for my first larger tank, a 55 gallon. For most of the second half of 2021 I had either mental health or physical health that was hindering me, so all tanks went to maintenance mode and were surviving but no longer thriving, tank maintenance went from pro active to reactive, and it became a huge mental block for me to dive back in to spruce everything back up. Almost like trying to do a deep clean of your kitchen after you let it go messy for so long, you know? After recovering from my physical ailments, I was so excited to get my tanks back to good condition and my fish happily thriving again. A lot of my plants are looking worse for the wear, I did massive pruning of the stuff that just wasn’t cutting it, but my poor Java fern seems to be really suffering. I purchased some new Java fern from my LFS that I will be using to help fill in the bare spots until I get my existing Java fern to thrive again. For all of my hard work, I was rewarded with not one, not two, but THREE species spawning for me, in two different tanks. I now have my very first angelfish fry, currently 2.5 weeks old (eggs were laid on 1/3/2022), down to about 2 dozen but these guys are all doing so well and don’t anticipate any casualties. I also have my first batch of bristlenose pleco fry, 45 that I managed to catch and move into a grow out. Part of my major tank maintenance was moving the young male chocolate BN from my 20 high into the 55 where I had 2 female albinos. Within a few days the male chocolate, named Bart, had dug out some substrate under driftwood to make his own cave before I could even provide him a cave! My albino cory cats spawned for the first time in this same few day period, but they always eat the eggs before I can collect any eggs to attempt to get them to hatch. That’s enough talking for now I think, I’m not even certain I made much sense, but I just needed to get started! Tank intros! 55 gallon community - current inhabitants: angelfish, cardinal tetras, one lonely platy female, 3 bristlenose (male chocolate and two female albino), Julii corydoras, nerite snails 20 gallon high - current inhabitants: albino corydoras, trio of peacock gudgeons, banded kuhli loaches, 2 bristlenose plecos young kiddos (one chocolate, one albino), a few stray neocaridina shrimp from our old skittle shrimp colony 2 10 gallon betta set ups - these are currently mid-renovation and set up, with undetermined tank mates for each, but our two Bettas names are Hughie and Leviathan I will try to get individual pics of them soon Just set up a fluval spec 2.6 that I got on clearance on petco for $13 bucks last year and has been collecting dust. Still deciding on what to stock it with. I hate the built in filtration so much, and would really prefer to not have to tinker too much with it. If that’s the case, I’ll just tear it down the filtration housing, throw in a tiny sponge filter and call it a day. Currently considering chili rasbora for this one… any ideas? Yes my plants are sad, I struggle with Java fern and what looks like a potassium deficiency…. I want to get out of the rut of all tanks having the same few plants, but don’t know where to start or what I might like the look of… I am too impatient for soaking driftwood, so I got creative to weigh down pieces in the newly set up tanks, and took the potted mother plants of anubias and Java fern from the 20 high to put in the new tanks to help jump start the cycle. I guess that’s it for now, looking forward to sharing here, in hopefully a more cohesive manner 😉
  11. Ok so I've recently become obsessed with designing a species only tank for some panda cories, hopefully long finned. My goal is a 20g long. How important is it to match their habitat of origin when aquascaping? Do I just stick to plants from South American? Is that too limiting? I've gone down a research rabbit hole and need to get pulled out of it. Thank you Nerms!
  12. Hello, so I'm attempting my first planted tank and I'd like to do a combination of dirt with a coarse silica sand or maybe a bonsai lava grit cap over it. The tank I'm using is a 36-gal Topfin bowfront 30.7 in L x 15.7 in W x 22.2 in H (77.9 x 39.8 x 56.3 cm). My question is how much of each substrate should I use? I know the 1 Lb to 1 gal rule, as well as adding an extra inch for planted tanks but because I'm mixing 2 substrates, I was hoping to get a more precise ratio. Any advice from someone who has done something similar or just has more knowledge in general about this would be greatly appreciated.
  13. Ok so I am basically brand new to this hobby and I am really struggling when it comes to getting my plants healthy and controlling my algae. The only plant that I have noticed grow at all is my tiger lotus bulb. Everything else has basically stayed the same or gotten worse since it was introduced to the tank (melting, browning, deficiencies, etc). I struggle with diagnosing nutrient deficiencies because I’m new to this hobby and am not really sure what qualifies as symptoms of nutrient deficiencies vs regular plant behavior. Most of my plants have leaves that are turning yellow or brown, my Amazon sword has leaves that went from brown to yellow to translucent and also some have holes on them, etc. I’ll attach dated photos from when each plant was first introduced to the tank vs now. Plant symptoms Tiger lotus bulb - few minor holes but that’s it Amazon sword - translucent leaves, brown patches on leaves Anubias barteri - haven’t noticed much except little to no growth Anubias nana - haven’t noticed much except little to no growth Java fern - some holes on a few leaves Cryptocoryne lucen - hasn’t grown much, awkard leaf stem shape and occasionally leaves turn yellow Cyrptocoryne wendtii - completely melted, growing some small leaves now Pogostemon stellatus octopus - 50% leaves turning yellow or brown, 50% leaves green Water sprite - leaves are browning Water wisteria - didn’t grow at all, shriveled up and turned brown Java moss - basically all of it turned yellow brown Dwarf Sagittaria - not much change, few leaves have melted In this last month I’ve really struggled with algae as well (mostly hair algae). Every week I’ll do a deep clean of the tank (scrub walls + plants + decor, vacuum substrate, rinse filter) and get almost all of the algae out of my tank then do a 50% water change, but it just grows back a few days after. So I also need advice on balancing my tank. I want to dose more thrive fertilizer since I suspect my plants are missing out on many nutrients, but I also don’t want to encourage algae growth. I don’t know if I should mess with my light schedule, my fertilizer dosages, or both. My nitrates have been consistently high >40 ppm and Ive been dosing the recommended amount of thrive weekly for about 2 months now. My lights were on from 7 am - 3 pm for the first 2 months but last week I changed it to this schedule 8 am - 12 pm : On 12pm - 1 pm : Off 1pm - 3pm : On And I also noticed some water pests 1 or 2 weeks ago (detritus worms, hydra, I think daphnia / copepods, and rhabdocoela) but that’s a topic for another time Details Tank : 20 gallon long Substrate : fluval stratum Fertilizer: thrive c (dose 1x week) Light : Finnex stingray led light Filter : sponge Heater : Fluval E100 (I keep it at 78°) I set up my tank on August 1st 2021 and it’s not fully cycled yet (mistakes were made but the cycle is nearly complete now) When I set up my tank (8/1/2021) I planted the following all in substrate: Anubias barteri Anubias nana Amazon sword Java fern cryptocoryne wendtii cryptocoryne lucen Pogostemon stellatus octopus Tiger lotus bulb A month later (9/1/2021) I attached my anubias barteri and anubias nana to wonder rock and I attached my Java fern to a coconut hut I also added new plants (9/1/2021) : Java moss Water wisteria Water sprite Dwarf Sagittara Any help or advice would be very much appreciated, thank you 🙂
  14. Hello! I’ve had a my planted tank set up for about a month now and everything seemed to be going fine until this. I’m not sure what it is or if it’s dangerous. All of my water parameters are within the range they’re supposed to be and I run a weak light for 12 hours a day. Is anyone able to identify this and help me get rid of it?
  15. I’m gonna be setting up a new style of tank (for me) and it got me thinking about the different styles of aquascaping. Over 30 years most of the time I would buy whatever decorations at the box stores I liked and try to mesh it together. Then I steered towards natural rock and driftwood only tanks, keeping mostly African cichlids it worked best. Now over last year I’m heavily into planted tanks. So what’s your favorite aquascaping style? 1) box store decor = fake plants, fake logs, shipwrecks, castles, ect… 2) natural stone/ wood = real stone or wood only 3) lightly/ moderate planted = some plants some decor fake or natural 4) heavily planted = very heavy plants real wood/ stone all styles included 5) biotope = specific natural environment to mimic or recreate an exact location 6) themed = non aquatic decorations to create a special environment or feel that has little to no natural decor (like they do on the show Tanked a lot) 7) other = other pics if possible! This thread is meant to inspire others to try different styles and go outside their comfort zones. I never thought I would do a themed tank but I really wanted to try something way different than anything I’ve done in the past.
  16. I have a 40 gallon breeder tank that I set up on 8/16/21. I am testing what plants will do well in my water so currently it is lightly planted. On 9/3/21 I added about 20 cherry shrimp to the tank as the only inhabitants. Over time I have been slowly losing them one by one and I cannot determine why. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Death Rate: 9/3/21 At the beginning I lost like 2 shrimp but I'm taking them as shipping casualties. 9/24/21 I lost one shrimp a day for 4 days then I lost maybe 2 outside this window. 10/12/21 I added 4 quarantined Blue Neon Goby to the tank and the shrimp seemed to stop dying. 10/26/21 I lost one shrimp each day for 3 days. I lost a total of 3 between the 26th and now. When they die they are still in one piece, the other shrimp do not eat the corpse. With exception to one the bodies were not in the tank a day. The one that was in longer was in the rock pile and when I took it out it was nibbled on a little. Tank mates: In the tank I also know I have detritus worms, Rhabdocoela worms, and a happy colony of bladder snails. I also have the 4 Neon Goby. Plants are riccia, water wisteria, philo moss, tiger lotus bulb, dwarf sagitaria, and some crypt parva. (The bacopa and the scarlett temple are giving up the ghost) Shrimp Behavior: At work my shrimp are always moving around and eating stuff. They seem to be very active and happy/hungry. At home my shrimp seems to just stand still a lot, and are cleaning their swimmerettes very often. They do swim around and will eat but don't seem to do it as often or as constantly as my shrimp at work. They also seem to eat for just a little bit and then will leave it alone to rot or for the snails to find it. As my snail population has grown the food will disappear overnight or so. I have one shrimp that is berried but she only has like 5 eggs. I have 2 more in the tank that have a giant saddle and I would expect them to be berried soon. I will be interested to see how many eggs they produce. I see molts often so I assume they are molting fine. The calcium on the test is the same as it is at work, but reaching for straws I did put a wonder shell in the back of my cave. Food: soylent green repashy, BacterAE, Hikari crab cuisine, hikari micro pellets, and recently started adding frozen rotifers and baby brine shrimp. I usually rotate the food but the Repashy and bacterAE seem to do the best so they are fed more often. Water conditions: The water conditions are quite stable at the below parameters. I tested the water at every death and it was fairly consistent as well. Ammonia=0, Nitrites=0, Nitrates~20ppm PH=8.0, GH=14 degrees, Kh=10 degrees Calcium=3.5 degrees, Copper=0 ppm (only tested once today) Water change: I change about 20% water on a weekly basis. At the beginning I tried not changing water for 2 weeks but then two shrimp died. The water parameters were consistent when I changed that water out and have not let it sit since. I noticed on two occasions they they would die on day day 5 or so of the water change week. When doing water changes I dose Prime and Easy Green into the tank at the recommended doses. Plea for help: I feel like I have exhausted my knowledge and anything else that I could look up. I was hoping that when the copper test came in today that it would be through the roof but that is not the case. I would be happy to hear any suggestions of what to test or do, because I am at a loss as to why I am consistently losing them. Thank you for your time, Brad
  17. I am fairly new to fish keeping and recently got my first tank. I have a 30 gal planted tank and ridiculously hard water stocked with 6 dwarf Petricola catfish and a Bristlenose Pleco. I am wondering if I could add a few more fish, or if my tank might be at capacity? If you think I could comfortably fit a couple more in there, any suggestions?
  18. Ok so my 20 gallon long planted tank is cycled, and I plan on getting a betta fish for it, but I want to make sure that I do everything properly. Is it ok to put a betta fish in a planted tank that isn’t balanced yet? I wasn’t sure if the plants melting would be considered a “habitat change” and stress out the fish, especially if a plant dies and I’d have to remove it. Can I “quarantine” fish in my main display planted tank? I know it wouldn’t be quarantine technically, so I guess I’m asking if I could dose the medication trio in my main tank? I don’t know if it’s a good idea or if it will affect whether or not I could put fish in that tank I the future. Would the medicine affect the plants or beneficial bacteria? I just figured since my main tanks already cycled and if the medications are safe for plants and bacteria it might be worth considering? For an actual quarantine tank does it need to be cycled? I’ve read some conflicting information about this. Some say medication will kill beneficial bacteria so it’d be pointless to cycle the tank and to do frequent water changes instead. Others say medication will not affect beneficial bacteria and not to do water changes as it will affect the medicine dosages and what not. Thoughts? How to properly acclimate fish? I’ve seen many people say to float and drip acclimate, but I saw one person say that drip acclimation could be harmful for fish that are shipped. Something about as soon as the bag is opened the CO2 releases and causes the ph to rise and then the ammonia becomes deadly or something? Does that only applies to fish that are shipped? Should I just float or drip acclimate too? Normal vs abnormal betta fish behavior? Im very paranoid about not being able to recognize whether or not my fish is stressed or sick. What behaviors should I expect from my betta fish if it’s happy and healthy? What behaviors should I be concerned about? I know that once I add the fish to the tank it might be stressed, but how long is too long for it to be stressed out do to it’s rehoming? I’m going to do more research on this before I get the betta fish but I figured I’d also ask while I’m here. Is it ok to not feed the fish for the first week while in quarantine? I know it’s one of the steps for medicating the fish, but I just wanted to triple check and make sure that’s safe? Should I bother trying to raise kh? the kh in my tank is super low <1 and the gh is really high. Should I try to raise kh? I know most people say that messing with gh or kh can cause more headaches than they’re worth and not to worry about it, but just as many people say that kh that low is dangerous. Thoughts? Thanks in advance :)
  19. In the past I’ve had fish in a tank for a while then decided to get plants and fertilize with easy green. So established tank nitrates already present. No worries, but what about starting a fresh tank with plants? No nitrates so if it’s a 20G use 2 squirts and next day maybe not even 10ppm do I dose again to get nitrates up? If so how often till I reach my desired amount? Daily, couple times a day, keep hitting it till it reads what I want? I ask because I set up a plant grow out tank and needed to get nitrates up as fast as possible. I did like 5 doses in 3 days now to maintain I’m dosing 3ish times a week. Also I now have a 125G with plants that was a fresh restart and it’s fairly heavily planted and I can’t get up past 20ppm dosing once a day and that’s a lot of squirts every time. Ive got fish in now so that will help but I want my plants to thrive as well (all were transplanted from other tanks)
  20. Hi everyone! I’m looking for some input for my next tank - specifically stocking and aquascape. Background: I am American, I live in Barcelona, Spain, and I brought a pair of Vienna guppies back with me that I bought from 614 Aquatics while I was visiting my parents for the summer. The pair has had 16 babies so far, and while I am caring for them in simple breeding and rearing tanks, I want to be able to sit and enjoy these very special fish with a nice planted aquascape… so I bought a new tank that will allow me to observe from three sides, including my desk and a guest bed. Purpose of tank: Vienna guppy display & breeding Peaceful nature aquarium, deceptively simple, highlighting fish and - to a lesser extent - also my skills at aquascaping Nano community Specs: 42L 35-cm cube tank (Urna Blau Cubic Aquascaping 42L) roughly 11 gallons Small sponge filter with USB pump - and probably a small HOB filter for additional filtration and water polishing Small heater Blau nano light - may swap out for something like a NICREW 30cm LED light Stocking options: Start with a pair of VG but later up to 3-4 pairs Some breeding of Neocaridina shrimp down the line after tank matures (likely yellow or orange) My go to cleaning squad: 2 amano shrimp, a nerite snail, and probably ramshorn snails Kind of want to include a couple other fish… mainly a nice shoal of grayish nano fish and a group bottom dwellers. My options: panda corys (I love them, have never kept them, and fear this footprint might not be right for them…I have looked into smaller corydoras species - like hastatus or habrosus, but feel like whenever I see them, they are schooling about midwater rather than hanging out on ground, which is more the look I want, I think? Although I’m a bit apprehensive if corys dig up plants - not sure?), either platinum or mottled gray medaka (which I already keep / breed in indoor/outdoor ponds, so I can easily add or remove as desired), Yunnanilus cruciatus, Normani Lampeyes, Black neon tetras Oryzias woworae White clouds Input welcome!!! (Non negotiable: VG. Top choice: panda corys.) Aquascapes I am considering: Option 1: “Riverside” Inspirations: https://youtu.be/oHtACMTK0oY https://youtu.be/AxPbDGFFoSk https://youtu.be/pMyzCUBYUNY https://youtu.be/Q0juwigB4vM Option 2: “Wabikusa Bouquet” inspirations: NATURE IN THE GLASS 'A bouquet of aquatic plants' | ADA https://youtu.be/f3cHV6S0W9o https://youtu.be/Is-lg6eoFJ0 https://youtu.be/7Qz6Z7GeMoo (but with tank filled completely) Option 3: “Epiphyte island” Inspiration: MulMung’s albino full red guppy tank Notes: This tank will not be my main breeding colony of Vienna guppies. Of course, I want to encourage breeding, but I also have a 20-gallon pond tub for growing out and breeding. I’ll likely remove newborn fry from this tank and add to grow out tub. Eventually extra adults may be sold (yes, some fishkeepers in Spain know Aquarium Co-op!). Basically, breeding /overstocking isn’t a concern as it’s (a) my goal and (b) most VGs can stay in other tanks while this is mainly display. I do want a balance of VGs and another fish or two. I want to avoid too many distracting/busy branches and wood that a net may catch on (see above). Alright, so given alllll that context, what insights and advice do y’all have in terms of aquascape and stocking? 😅😄
  21. What are some good next level plants for a beginner to try, and to learn from? I feel I’ve had decent success with low light/ easy plants. Vallisneria, Amazon swords, water sprite, pogostemon stellatus octopus, dwarf aquarium lilly, and a couple different Anubis. Mixed results with bacopa caroliniana. Plants I’ve failed at Java fern is my nemesis, pennywort, scarlet temple, dwarf baby tears, Monte Carlo, and dwarf chain sword. A few of these I know I didn’t have good enough lighting. I have medium lighting at best, no CO2, not really interested in carpeting plants right now due to the lights and CO2 issues, and hard water. Will be going back to a couple of the fails already but just looking to move a little forward with plants. Not wanting to waste money on plants I have no business trying, they all look so beautiful. Maybe an easier red plant?
  22. I received my plants from the Coop, and they are simply beautiful, healthy and are already waking up. So, I have sand substrate because I have corydoras, and was looking for a way to plant and add fertilizer without the plants floating (thin layer of substrate), and without the corys finding the root tabs. I also have snails in the tank. Since I need eggshells for the snails because I have soft water, I am trying taking a half eggshell after cooking the membrane out, poking a small hole(s) on the bottom, adding fertilizer and the plant, filling the empty space with sand, and dropping it in the tank. They stay in place, and they are easy to move if I need to. The shell will eventually dissolve leaving a well rooted plant in the substrate. This also works for adding root tabs around the tank by adding more holes to the bottom of the eggshell. 🙂
  23. Hello, First time caller, long time listener! I got a bunch of Kuhli Loaches almost six months ago now and I noticed that one of them swam up to a bunch of Water Spirte that I have floating at the top. Just curious if this is a standard thing or something I should be monitor more closely? (Water parameters writhing good conditions) Thanks in advance!
  24. Okay. So. My 55 gallon was originally supposed to be a Walstad setup. I got impatient when the pet store didn’t have the sand I wanted, so I capped the soil with a layer of imagitarium gravel. Fast forward a year and a half. The pH of my heavily planted, full-of-driftwood, barely-water-changed tank is 8.4, with 300ppm hardness and 300ppm buffer. (Max level on the aquarium coop test strips.) The water out of my tap is almost RO, it has so little in it. The black coating on the gravel is wearing off. So given that plants and driftwood are supposed to lower your pH over time, and the fact that I don’t have this problem in any of my other tanks, I’m 99.9% sure the gravel is sending my pH through the roof. The fish are doing fine—they’ve adjusted to this over a long period of time. I think they’d be happier in a lower pH environment but they’re doing okay. But I know if I ever want to add new fish, they’ll have a rough go of it in this very very hard, alkaline water. I’d also like to be able to grow stem plants in here. At the very beginning of this tank I had beautiful stem plants! But based on the fact that they all died and I’ve never gotten them to grow again, I don’t think they can handle the high pH. (The swords are also nitrate hogs. I fertilized yesterday and today the nitrate is 0.) Plus, the gravel does a terrible job keeping the dirt where it’s supposed to be. There’s always particulates floating everywhere, which I think contributes to my small-leafed plants growing tons of algae. The mulm collects in those plants and the algae love it. So the question is… do I dare change my substrate? I think I’d replace everything with a fine gravel, something on the darker side that still looks natural. Forget the Walstad. I love that method, but the Walstad ship sailed for this tank long ago. I really want to, but I have no idea how, given that this is a dirted tank. I could empty the whole thing and try to scoop the substrate out, but that seems really hard. Even if I get the tetras and gouramis out of there, I’ve got two plecos, two yo-yo loaches, and two otos that I highly doubt I could catch without tearing out the entire scape. And I know my sword plants will not be happy if I uproot them. I could try to replace the substrate one bit at a time, vacuuming out another section each time I do a water change. I had to do that when I replaced the rock in the front right corner. It kicked up a toooon of dirt but that cleared in time. Does that make the most sense, so I don’t have to move anyone? I’d never get all the gravel out, but maybe I could remove enough that the pH goes down. I’m just imagining that between the loaches and the Malaysian trumpet snails, the old and new gravel will get mixed together and then I’ll end up throwing out a lot of new gravel every time I try the next section. That or I’m stuck sorting gravel. 😛 Help!!
  25. I am a newbie attempting a 5 gallon planted tank for my high school science classroom! I thought it would be fun to keep track of the progress...because I know there will be ups and downs. And, if this works out, I've got big dreams for a planted 20 gallon long with a corydora fleet...so, we shall see! 🤗 The set-up includes: 5 gallon Marina LED Aquarium kit (came with the S10 filter, a lid with an LED light, some cycle bacteria, water conditioner, tropical flake food, and a cute lil' blue fish net) Unknown driftwood pieces Fluval Stratum (the 4.4 lb bag was perfect!) Plants from the Co-Op (Golden Anubias, Nana Petite Anubias, Wendelov Java fern, Coffeefolia Anubias, and Red Melon Sword) 25-watt Marina Submersible Heater Velimax Static Cling Total Blackout Window film (for the back glass) I'm also using: Seachem Prime Water Conditioner Easy Green Fertilizer from the Co-Op API Master Test kit 24 hour mechanical outlet timer Digital thermometer Aquaclear Foam and Biomax inserts - slowly transitioning my filter over to become a HOT ROD y'all! 🚙 I am currently working on cycling the tank...and I've attached my data and doings so far! ] The water at school has a pH of 6.8 out of the tap, and for some reason my tank keeps creeping acidic...maybe it's the driftwood? Anyway...SUPER pumped that the ammonia is on the way down and my nana petite's little baby leaves are unfurling and looking great! I do have some dusty black stuff on the golden anubias and the java fern...I think it's substrate dust? Or, maybe black algae? I originally super-glued my java fern...but it's breaking free! So, I'll probably pull that out and see if I can tie it to the driftwood with some thread tomorrow. Any suggestions/thoughts/ideas are welcomed!! Hope this was slightly interesting! 😅
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