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Hi! if you haven't read it, go read my introduction. This journal will attempt to continue where I left off there.

I'm currently running four aquariums, all freshwater planted. These photos were all taken today on my Galaxy S7 ( my wife's iphone shots look so much better! ).

First up is my living room 75 gallon.


Substrate is Safe-T-Sorb. The aquascape in here was pretty much "drop in some cholla and let's see what happens when it sinks." I kind of like the haphazard nature of it. As the java ferns grow, I'll add some more to the back wall. Still dealing with an excess of organics in the water from the recent riparium conversion, which is a second reason the plants are mostly in the foreground.

I recently added a heater as we noticed that we were only getting female guppy babies and internet research indicated that at 72 degrees that is the likely result. We're now running at 79 degrees, so hoping we'll see some cool mutts soon! I just saw one 1/2" fry that has an all black tail, so maybe a male?!

The glass lids were a project from this past weekend. I salvaged a window on craigslist and disassembled it, then cut the glass for the lids. I should get quite a few lids for future tanks as it was double pane.

The rock wall background was a DIY project in 2014. It is 2 inch foam painted with tinted drylock. At the time, I figured it would last a couple years maybe, and I didn't spend a ton of time on it. Well here it is 7 years later and its still in perfect condition!

I'd really love for the cory cats to spawn in this tank. I'll probably try to breed them intentionally at some point, but I don't know if I am ready for fry that small yet.

There are some snails in here, including a couple bladder snails and some fairly large malaysian trumpet snails in the 1 inch range.


Edited by Vanish
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Next up is the 90 gallon in our dining/kitchen.


I have CO2 running on this tank, but I'm not super happy with it at the moment. I had a problem where the CO2 line was disconnected accidentally cause various algae outbreaks, the most obnoxious of which is BBA on my Anubias Nana Petite.


I just ordered a fresh gallon of glut that I'll use to spot treat, and also mix in a small amount with my macros. Hopefully I can knock it back. I remove it manually where I can but some of these are attached to the wood.

I think I need a couple more stem plants in here, too, looking at the back left corner. My dwarf sag isn't so dwarf anymore. My sunset hygro polysperma is almost pure green these days. I've had both those plants for 7 years, so it might be time to buy some new stock :D. The java ferns on the log are finally coming back after I sold off 3/4 of it 5 weeks ago, but I know its going to be a couple more months before they're really looking good again.

I have a bit of a trumpet snail outbreak in this tank, as I've been feeding heavier to help grow the rainbows. My yoyo loach keeps eliminates the big ones, but he's fat and happy and thus there are a million babies. Sometimes I catch them by hand or with a trap and feed to my clown loaches in the 150, but removing 50 barely seems to dent the population. They really only come out at night, though.

I managed to see the Chocolate Zebra Pleco ( or so it was sold as to me ) today! He was a bit of an impulse purchase and he lives inside the cholla stump. The last time I had seen him was when I was rescaping and he came flopping out on my countertop. This is an old photo, probably from the day he went in the tank, but a fun one.


My wife really likes the yoyo loach and if I can find some healthy ones I will probably bring them home as I know you aren't supposed to keep a single. I'd most likely move the sterbai to the 75 now that it is a similar temperature.

Back in the day I used a Tom's aqualifter paired with a digital timer that would do 1 minute intervals as an auto-doser. It was amazing, but twice the timer failed to turn off dosing the tank with the entire reservoir of macro+glut mix. I nearly lost everything both times and thus stopped using it.

I bought myself a present this week. A triple head dosing pump. It should show up later this week and it will be a fun project to set up. I'm pretty inconsistent with dosing manually, which doesn't help I'm sure.

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Ok, onto the 10g tank also in the dining room.


This tank was never supposed to be set up. It was just to house my shrimp and Endlers during a tank move. A few years later and well, its still going and it looks pretty good. Running a Nicrew light on it now which I like quite a bit.

I sometimes use this tank as a growout and I think that kept the shrimp population low. I noticed some new shrimp recently. It is hard to say how many are in there, but after a long time where I would have guessed it was under 10, there are definitely at least 15 now.

The Endlers seem to to stay at a population somewhere between 20 and 30. I know I have 7 males in there, but it is difficult to count the females and fry. I've been hoping to sell some but not getting much traction on craigslist. I don't have the heart to cull them, and no other tanks for the not-quite-as-pretty boys to live in.


I'd really like to get my red cherry shrimp breeding more again. Those were always a nice reliable local source to offset some of the costs of this hobby. I probably need to separate them but there's nowhere else to go!

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Basement Office 150g 


My thoughts go back and forth with being happy with this tank. The whole thing looks much different since I swapped the light. It has triggered that reddish brown algae you can see if you closely. Not sure which algae that is. Shouldn't be diatoms in a tank that's been running for 7 years. Not sure if they'll eat this algae, but I think this tank could do with some bristlenose. We had three in here but they died we imagine of old age, as I believe their lifespan is around 5 years.

If you look closely you can see there are two giant danios in here. I originally had a school of about 20 of them. We lost some to not having a lid for a time and others to old age. I don't expect these two to be with us much longer.

I really wanted to have more clown loaches originally (I think I've had 9 total?), but I had a heck of a time finding healthy ones. Until recently, I had four, but I could tell one of them still had some sort of parasite as he was always skinny. Let me tell you, it is about impossible to catch them out of here. I still can't believe these three are almost 7 years old.

I need to find a new method for attaching the java ferns, as the thread method doesn't seem to work for me.

The front rock wall is a too continuous for my tastes. Not sure how to break it up. I tried Anubias there but they did not grow well. I do like watching the Pictus cats swim across the sand.

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But wait, what's this?


The 20H I've had for awhile. I tell myself its my QT tank and well, most of the time it has been. Its raised some fry before, too.

The 29 sitting next to it was a recent craigslist freebie. I can't pass up a free local tank! I'm pretty sure it is getting set up soon, and I'd like to do a different looking scape. I've had enough cholla and lava rock in my life. But WHERE can I set it up that won't have the significant other raising too many eyebrows? I'm not sure yet. She was the one who brought up breeding rainbowfish, which sent me down this dark path (of which I may have deviated significantly).

Everywhere I look around the house at the moment is like, ooh, a tank might fit there, or if we rearranged that it could go there. I do know two things:

1.) There are certain places where water changes are a pita.

2.) The more visible the tank is in my daily life, to more likely I am to maintain it. This is the (well, one of) reason I don't have tanks running right where you see them in this photo. 

I need to remind myself of these every time I think its a possibility. I'm not sure where that leaves setting up the 29, but I've got 5 sponge filters seasoning in the sump of my 150g and found 2 air pumps in my box of goodies.

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On 9/14/2021 at 11:58 PM, Vanish said:

I need to find a new method for attaching the java ferns, as the thread method doesn't seem to work for me.

I imagine you want to stay away from super glue as you are removing to sell. The Small Scape just did a YouTube video where she used a specific type of hair the top attach ferns and anubias to wood. I recommend checking it out. 

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On 9/16/2021 at 7:48 PM, ChemBob said:

I imagine you want to stay away from super glue as you are removing to sell. The Small Scape just did a YouTube video where she used a specific type of hair the top attach ferns and anubias to wood. I recommend checking it out. 

I usually sell off the larger grown baby plants, so super gluing the mother plants is not a big deal. I just haven't had good luck with that, and also tend to wind up with some unattractive white splotches on whatever I glue to. Maybe I just need more practice.

I'm going to have to check out that channel for more than just plant attachment as I am trying to get into running more small tanks.

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Getting off work early on Friday allowed me to make the 45 minute drive to the best LFS around. I haven't been there in years. They have a great plant selection ( compares to other locals ) and I figured it was time to get some new stuff as I've had most of my stock for 5+ years.


Hygrophila Difformis

Ludwigia repens Broadleaf  

Crypt Red Unknown


Bacopa caroliniana 

Two different Rotala

Staurogene Repens

Hygrophila lances 'Araguala'

Starting off essentially planting them in the 90g with co2  just to ensure I have a stock that will grow in my water, and then I will try them in other tanks. Although I threw a few small pieces in the 10g.

I had wisteria in the past and really liked it in certain uses but accidentally killed it one day. Hoping to put the bolbitis in the 150g eventually. 

I didnt plant the s repens, ran out of time yesterday.

While planting those, I did a manual removal of a lot of the BBA on the anubias nana petite and am using the rubber band method to try to get them anchored. Several had actually grown roots into the lava rock, so yay!

The new plants need to grow a but taller to really see them from a normal FTS 😀


Edited by Vanish
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On 9/19/2021 at 10:47 AM, PineSong said:

Now that's a great looking dog.

Ada is our 6 month old Bracco Italiano. She's always trying to help.


My wife was watching my office tank today. The catfish were playing as the lights hadn't come on yet. I thought this one was fun. No, it isn't rotated funny. 😄



I have far too many projects in my head at the moment. I got a new QT tank set up today. Trying one of the Vivosun heaters with the temp display built in. Not sure I'd want it in a display tank but it seems like a solid idea in the QT tank. Made a bit of a mess as the largest crypt popped out of the pot as I was setting it up. Floating plants are just hanging out until I found them a real home.

Filters have been in my 150's sump so it should be good to go, but I'll let it rest and check params in a few days.


Look who I saw in the 90 today! 😄


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Recently, I have struggled with having too many projects on the brain, and not enough vision to execute on any of them. It really felt good to get that QT tank put together yesterday just to have accomplished something, even if I have to move it later.

  • Auto-doser on the 90g
  • Set up the 29g ... somewhere. I think its going to be a river rock setup.
  • Fry System
  • Breeding Rack
  • Matching custom shrimp tanks

I mean come on... this spot (the empty bottoms) is just begging for them, right?! I have a slight concern Ada would try to drink from them 😄 Why stop at 2, when could get rid of those plants and do 4? Oh dear...


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Well I have the house to myself today and all the tanks are looking fine,  so I'm playing with the 29g. I think I am going to try for a river scape.

Ada and i went to the river park and did some collecting.


On the right is a giant single piece far too big for the 29g, but I just couldn't leave it. I may do rescap one of my big tanks with it at some point.

I also collected some rock and wood a few weeks back. The wood has been soaking since ... gross!


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Taking a break to walk Ada. I am making incredible progress!

Black poster background added and some old sand added for stability.


The main wood piece I found.


Some additional wood collected


I THOUGHT I was taking pics while hardscaping, guess not.


Not sure about some of those right flyers.

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With plants ( extras from other tanks )

Crypts, Anubias, hygro polysperma

I will add more Anubias on next water change. I don't know if the hygro will stay but I had about 10 extra steps just floating.


Then I added some local botanicals. Got a bit of haze starting already.


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90 Gallon


Bacopa and Wisteria have grown several inches. The Rotalas and Ludwigia around an inch. S. Repens is starting to take hold. Hygro Arugaia has about doubled in size, glad to see that. I'll probably be redoing the center once I have enough grown out to work with. Still need to hook up the autodoser, but haven't figured out a good place to mount it.


10g Endlers


I need to pull it out and wipe the back glass next water change!

We are about to have more endlers, and I've seen shrimpers again, yay!


75 gallon


Java fern is greening up, woop. I've been in random bits here and there and it is starting to add up.

I'm going to have to steal my wife's phone to get pics of the fish.


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Called it with that fat mama endler!


After watching fish for a bit, I got to work on another project. I'm trying to build one of the tanks for those plant stands I showed last week. It is intended to be a shrimp paludarium holding about 4 gallons. I'm using reclaimed glass from broken tanks I've found over the years, and well,  let's say I was hoping to build two, but only got enough to build one 😤

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On 9/28/2021 at 9:28 AM, Griznatch said:

Nice looking tanks! Really like the stump in the 29 gallon.

Thanks! We'll see how it turns out longer term. I'm not 100% what kind of wood it is (not a pine). I sourced it from a local river bank. I hate paying for wood, or really any hardscape, as evidenced by all the cholla in my tanks. I can find cholla free, and sometimes it has some really cool features, but once you've got four tanks with it, it is time for something new.

I have never been a fan of river rock before, but I hadn't really seen how to utilize it like this. The 29 setup was inspired by some videos by SerpaDesign and MD Fish Tanks. I learned a lot just by doing the scape and was half tempted to tear it down and start all over. Guess I'll just need a few more tanks. 😬

1.) I should have collected even more smaller rocks.

2.) I should have added more base substrate, as it feels a little thin in the middle, and my "big" rocks are half buried/mostly invisible because of the amount of substrate I added afterwards.

3.) 15 crypts felt like a lot when I was preparing, yet the tank looks barely planted.

I have a bunch of anubias nana petite I'll be attaching to the stump. I'm trying to clear the BBA from it at the moment. Also have some extra xmas moss I can move from the 10g, and a few more crypts from the 90g soon. I'm  refusing to put any java fern in here, too much of it elsewhere.

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I've really given in to MTS recently. My wife seems to be ok with it as I've been very busy with projects, which keeps me happy, though I think I saw a raised eyebrow / potential eye roll on this latest one. I've moved forward with the shrimp tanks project!

Unfortunately, my phone is doing this weird thing where it "forgets" some photos. I see I've taken the photo in the thumbnail, but when I go to the photo it disappears and I am taken to the previous one. This happens seemingly randomly, but I lost some of the build photos.

I worked on two things in parallel. First up I needed a solid surface to put the tank(s) on. 3/4" plywood is probably overkill for this, but I had a scrap piece lying around that was the perfect size. I glued a facia board on the from and a strip along the bottom to hold the shelf in place on the stands.


I then painted the edges black to blend in better. A piece of black neoprene will sit on top, covering the lighter colored wood, then the tank(s) on top of that. Should arrive tomorrow. And here we are on the stands.


I want to figure out a way to hide the two cords that go to each tank. I don't really want to see them nor expose the power strip to the dog water... she's a messy drinker.

Meanwhile, I started building the tank(s). Now, I keep putting tank(s) in questionable plural because it took me more material than intended to build the first one. I'm working with reclaimed glass and well, it doesn't always break like you want it. Also, I haven't cut that much glass in my life either, so there is bound to be user error.



This will be a paludarium style tank with a trickle fall supplied by a small pump. The water section will end up holding somewhere between 3.5 and 4 gallons of water.

My next step here will be water testing, and then I will begin creating the plumbing system. I'm still waiting on a couple of supplies for that.

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