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16 Gallon Planted journal


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This will be a journal for my current tank. One single tank? I know. Blasphemy! The struggle is real. I have been keeping aquariums off and on for nearly 40 years and this is my first foray into a fully planted tank for various reasons. The tank has been up and running for a few months now and I had intended to start this journal right away but...life etc.

My current rental lease was changed to allow aquariums so naturally I started planning without delay. My space was limited so I couldn't do my preferred tank (40 breeder) and the tank/stand would be in our main living area so I wanted something that looked nice while hiding most of the equipment.

I found a Fluval Spec 16 on sale at my LFS. Customer returned it because it was the wrong color so opened product discount!

Tank- Fluval Spec 16DSCF0474.JPG.8741c7019f2abe3f3e9980aad25f9d47.JPG


  • Black aquarium gravel base to give the bed some height at a lower cost
  • Stratum top layer 

Filteration- has an in tank filter section on one end with 3 chambers

  • First chamber filled with coarse sponge pad cut to size
  • Second chamber 
    • Bottom filled with fine rectangular pot scrub sponges (dollar store)
    • Top filled with ceramic bio balls in a mesh bag
  • Third chamber
    • Houses the submersible pump and submersible heater
  • Sponge filter 
    • In tank for aeration and grazing



  • Celestial Pearl Danio/Galaxy Rasbora
  • Ember Tetra
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnow
  • Otocinclus catfish
  • Bristlenose Plecostomus


  • Red cherry shrimp
  • Amano shrimp
  • Nerite snail
  • Ramshorn snails
  • Bladder snails
  • Malaysian trumpet snailsDSCF0488.JPG.ca8b3bb9b4306b811c45f9ce44b6b12d.JPGDSCF0510.JPG.ae84856d0bb9962ca74ab0c45bb569ce.JPG

These were all early pics follow up to come soon! Thanks for looking

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Here are some pics of current residents. I want to get an overall pic of the tank but Im fighting a hair algae explosion after a recent bout with ich/parasite treatments and it doesnt look great lol. Though this does show some of the plant growth progress...












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