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My 46G Bowfront gets a Makeover!


AndreaW
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Now that I've got my 10G Betta tank going, I need to start thinking about what I'm going to do with this tank. It's a 46G Bowfront I've had running for about 20 years. My son has taken it over and it has a random mix of fish that he has picked out and some stray fish dropped off at my door. It truly is a hodgepodge tank.

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Inhabitants: Currently it has a bunch of tertras, Cories, Kuhli Loaches and my son's Pleco named "Gary" who is the most peculiar Pleco I've ever met. I think he's defective, but my son loves him. He has a flat nose and I've never seen him suck or rasp at anything. In fact, I've never once seen him eat or poop, but somehow he has grown to 8". I swear he's a zombie. The tank is at full capacity as far as stocking and I need to convince my son that his Pleco will need to be rehomed eventually. Until then, I will be keeping all the current inhabitants for now. He also has two Mystery Snails.

What I want: I would love to do a planted tank with driftwood and make a better setup for the Pleco, especially. I'm new to aquarium plants and would like to keep it simple while I'm learning.

History/Setup: It originally housed a couple fancy goldfish and a Pleco (the reason I have such heavy filtration on the tank) and I have had various tropical fish since then.

This is its third location and I've redone the silicone once. I'm still running the original setup of a Marineland Emperor 280 HOB filter, with an under-gravel filter with (2) Marineland Penguin powerhead 550s. So I have a total of 570GPH flow in the tank. It has a fluorescent hood light with a 24" full spectrum bulb and a glass top. (The tank is 36" wide).

I've tried live plants before, but they never survive most likely because I didn't know what I was doing like fertilizer/lighting/substrate, etc. (still don't know most of what I am doing). 

Considerations/Questions: Since it's so heavily stocked, I think I need to continue a higher filtration, so I'm thinking of removing the under-gravel plate and powerheads, but add another HOB filter to the other side so it still gets even flow/filtration. Then down the road, I can swap the HOBs to sponge filters if it's stocked lighter.

I was told if I wanted to grow any live plants I would have to upgrade the light to an LED. I don't know if that's true or not? 

It currently has 2" typical aquarium gravel, which I would like to keep (I want to do my best to keep the nitrogen cycle intact), but will probably need to add some additional gravel if I'm going to do live plants. I will probably get some smaller river gravel that is smoother to mix in with the coarser gravel. Or should I top the coarser gravel with the smoother, smaller gravel?

Will live plants survive the inhabitants? I bought some stem plants recently and dropped the whole pot in but neither of them survived. All the leaves fell off (or were stripped off) and I just have bare stems left. I buried the stems in the gravel but so far they aren't doing anything. I've heard Plecos will eat and beat plants up pretty good and that the Mystery snails will eat live plants. But, If it's heavily planted, will the plants have a better chance of surviving? 

I'm looking forward to trying some different plants. I haven't done any stem or larger plants because most are too big for my other 10G tank. 

Any and all advice appreciated. I'm kinda lost where to start, what to do, and how much to do at once, or if I should space things out to keep the inhabitants and nitrogen cycle happy.

 

Edited by AndreaW
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I have this tank right next to my desk. I run a canister filter and a sponge on mine. Canister because as long as it’s full it’s almost silent while giving some current, and sponge because I pretty much feel every tank should have one for backup and/or having a seeded sponge in case it’s needed. Regardless, filtration is filtration IMHO, it’s about finding the mix that works for you. I would watch your water parameters and see if it is really overstocked for your current. 
 

on lighting, bowfront are typically pretty deep. So you’ll need a moderately powerful light. LED aren’t a requirement, but I like them so I don’t have to change out bulbs. But there are specific plant bulbs you would need to run. I choose LED because it’s simple and easy. 
 

as far as plants, it depends. You have a variety of fish and some are plant eaters. You’ll need to research and see.  But. There are some heartier plants like Anubis that have a heavier, more waxy leaf that most fish leave alone. So that’s an option you can look at as well. 2“ of gravel should be ok for stem plants, or you can do what I do…pot them in small terra cotta pots and bury them in the substrate. I fill the bottom half with crushed coral to add some buffer to the tank and a plant substrate to top it off and adding root tabs. As a side note I found some awesome 3“ players at Home Depot that don’t even have the drain hole. It lets me pull them out when I need to catch fish and for an under gravel filter, doesn’t let the roots get tangled in the filter itself. 
 

a few notes. Mystery snails only eat dead plant material. I keep them in most tanks simply because I have a huge affinity for them. 
 

so my advise. Take pictures of each fish and try to identify them. Then figure out where to go from there

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@Vaping Giant ~ Thank you for your response! :classic_smile: Here's a list of the types of fish I have. Many of the tetras all school together even if they are different types, but I don't think I can/should add more at this point:

  • 8" Common Pleco
  • 2 Kuhli Loaches (1 was dropped off to me and I bought another so it would have at least one friend since they school)
  • 6-7? Panda and Green Cories (all school together)
  • 6? Buenos Aires Tetras
  • 4-5? Black Skirt Tetras (some long-finned)
  • 3? Lamp Eye Tetras
  • 1 poor lone Neon Tetra
  • 2 Mystery Snails

I think I have a total of 15-16 total tetras. I've had many of these tank inhabitants for many years already. (One Kuhli and the snails are young, recent acquisitions. Will I need to worry about any of these eating my plants?

I have a constant 0ppm Ammonia, 0ppm Nitrites, 40ppm Nitrates. Even through the recent move, I was able to keep my nitrogen cycle intact and all fish survived and were happy. About 2 weeks after the move, my sister dropped off the Buenos Aires and Kuhli Loach who were the only survivors when her heater went out and her tank got down to 55*F. I was also able to get them acclimated with no deaths which surprised me. I did get some diatom algae from overfeeding, but the nitrogen cycle stayed stable through the additions.

I think my tank is 36" wide x 20" tall. Would this light be a good light option?

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I have pretty hard water, so I don't think I should add crushed coral, and I'm thinking I would like to plant directly into the substrate so the plants can spread across the tank. I think slowing the flow of the water at the top and front of the tank might help the fish and plants. There's a pretty strong current right now, mostly from the powerheads. I don't mind the sound of the HOB filters and keep the water level up so they are not noisy. 

I would love to add Anubias in this tank, and probably Java Fern. I would like some taller plants in the back, maybe Pogostemon or Vallisneria? I need to research light requirements and such before I can choose the plants, I think.

 

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I'm currently thinking I should proceed this way:

  1. Remove Powerheads and tubes. Cap off and leave UG at the bottom to collect mulm and give the plant roots something to grab on to? Add additional HOB filter to maintain filtration and lessen water flow. Give it a couple weeks to make sure the nitrogen cycle stays intact and I don't stress the fish too much.
  2. I can change out the light at any time.
  3. Add additional (smaller, smoother river rock) gravel, maybe 1" more(?) on top, and it will eventually mix together. Add live plants and driftwood. Do I keep plastic plants in tank for a while while new plants are starting out to keep a good supply of beneficial bacteria in the tank? I'm pretty sure I will be removing the castle when I put the driftwood in the tank.
  4. Figure out lighting and fertilizer schedule for live plants:classic_tongue:

Is this overkill or am I not being cautious enough? I really want to avoid disturbing the fish and would like to keep them in the tank during the process, if possible.

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I would leave the UGF in place and run everything just like you have it except for adding an air operated sponge filter since an air pump will run a long time on a battery UPS as a back up filter in case of power outage.  Running the UGF will pull debris into the gravel and most plants love flow over their leaves.  Some long leaved plants or tall stems can get tangled with too much flow.  Just start adding Anubias or Bucephalandra but secure them well to wood or rocks since you have very good current flow. You might even get away with planting Anubias with a buried rhizome with power heads pulling water through coarse gravel.  Typically they don’t want a buried rhizome but flow past it could prevent issues.  Don’t bury it deep if you decide to experiment.

If you have old style fluorescent, you will be much better off either upgrading to newer style bulbs for more output or upgrade to LED.  I also don’t like changing bulbs.  You likely could put the LED lights inside your existing hood.  They usually take up less space than fluorescents and give you (arguably) better color and plant growth depending on how fancy you get.  You don’t have to get fancy, by the way, lots of people out there using plain, white, stoplight style LED’s.

You can run nearly any substrate, or none at all, as long as what you have won’t harm the tank inhabitants.  If you stick with stem plants and epiphytes, you only need ferts in the water column.  If you want swords, you’ll likely end up with root tabs of some sort.  There are plenty of “recipes” for making your own, often involving Osmocote granules, sometimes involving freezing into small ice cubes.  ACO root tabs are excellent if you prefer purchased products actually designed for aquarium plants.

The more plants you can afford right from the beginning, the better your chances of them outcompeting the algae.  Go big rather than gradually adding plants.  It usually works out much better.  Don’t get discouraged by some plants failing.  Some tanks do better with certain types of plants.  You’ll just have to find out what works for you.

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@Odd Duck & @Patrick_G ~ Thank you!

I think I will leave the UG filter for now and later add a sponge filter. It will be nice for power outages or for later down the road when the tank is stocked lighter. If the flow ends up bring too high for the taller plants I might be able to replace with smaller powerheads to keep the UG filter going.

I'm going to add more substrate and rocks with the driftwood. I found a great piece of driftwood today. That's my arm with the driftwood, and my hand with the gravel I will be adding.

I'll also order the LED light

I talked to my son about the Pleco and he agreed to re-home him if we can find a perfect one. :classic_biggrin: He will get a Bristlenose Pleco after we re-home him.

I plan on planting it heavily. I'll have to post my list and quantity of plants to get advice/approval once I figure it out. 

Thanks again for your help! 

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What I currently have in my ACO shopping cart: Name (placement, light, fertilizer)

Is this a good start or should I get multiples of some of these to get started? I have a bunch of Java Fern babies in my other tank that will eventually be moved to this tank.

The tank is 36" wide x 16" deep, and the large piece of driftwood is about 18" long x 5" deep and I have another smaller piece that's about 14" long.

Also, I ordered the light and it will arrive on Saturday! :classic_biggrin: This is exciting!

Edited by AndreaW
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I've had my driftwood soaking in preparation for my light (arriving tomorrow) and my plants (arriving Monday). I'm pretty excited this is going as quickly as it is. I was planning on taking it slow and transitioning one thing at a time, but keeping the filtration the same has made it much easier. I'm still thinking I should swap the powerheads and direct the flow toward the outside walls instead of toward the center of the tank. Maybe breaking up the flow will help calm the water a bit.

I made a template of my tank since I need to know for sure how I'm going to situate my driftwood and plants because I'm going to be re-scaping with the fish in the tank. I might remove the Pleco though.

I plan to attach the Anubias Petite and Barteri to the driftwood and then place them in the tank. The rest of the plants will be attached to rocks and placed, or planted in the substrate after, hopefully not stirring things up too much in the process.

Front view of driftwood placement:

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Top view of driftwood placement:

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I'm not quite sure about the two pieces together on the right. I may play around with them a little bit more and separate them. 

I think the fish will be happy with all the places to swim around and through. They love the castle I currently have in my tank and many swim inside and through, but the snails sometimes get stuck. I spent a couple hours sanding the driftwood last night to make sure there were no rough spots for fins and snail feet. 

I'm off to pick up some more white rocks/pebbles from the hardware store to cluster around the driftwood. 

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I finally decided to work with this arrangement: 

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I will do the tallest plants on the right, leaving the arches on the left mostly open. 

My light arrived Saturday. Plants came yesterday and I'm really excited about the Scarlet Temple. Some of the plants are already melting so I hope they will be okay.

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I picked up some J-B Weld WaterWeld to adhere the wood to the rock so it will be stable. It's potable tank safe and cures in 1 hour but I'll probably let it set overnight. It cures off-white, which should work with my rocks. I'll have some of my gravel on hand to press into it if there are any areas where it could be visible. I'm sure there will eventually be algae or moss that will cover the joints.

Links to a couple threads I asked questions (I have too many questions!):

 

Lastly, the Mystery snails laid their first clutch a few days ago. Dakota (my son) removed them from the wall and they are floating in a bowl in the quarantine tank which he has adopted to keep his bladder snails and trumpet snail since I won't let him put them in our other tanks. He wants to get a Bristlenose Pleco for the tank and has given me permission to re-home Gary, but I'm going to see how he does with the new set up but I know he eventually will need to be re-homed.

If I can get the driftwood/rocks adhered tonight I might start the re-scape tomorrow. I was really anxious to get it going but now I'm a bit hesitant and feel like I still have so many questions. It really shouldn't be this nerve-wracking.

I updated my planting plan:

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J-B WaterWeld is the best & Stainless Steel screws come to the rescue!

It is off-white, so it doesn't work for everything but I'm seriously impressed with it. The hard driftwood and rock are securely adhered. (Soft driftwood doesn't really stick to the putty so I improvised below). I attached the driftwood to the large 7 lb. rock and it is secure! I'm sure over time as the driftwood decays it may separate, but the putty is shaped so that the driftwood will be stable on the rock even if it's not fully adhered. 

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I also used a bamboo skewer as a dowel to attach the two smaller driftwood pieces and it wasn't as secure as I would have liked because it's a really soft piece of wood, so I ended up adding a stainless steel screw into it. I had to attach some rocks to the bottom of the left driftwood piece so it wouldn't float. I added some small stainless steel screws and left the heads out a little bit to give the putty something to grab onto, which seemed to work well. I added smaller rocks into the putty so it will blend in with surrounding rocks and I'll also add some additional rocks around the driftwood/rocks as well.

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Ultimately, my goal was to have two solid pieces to place in the tank that I wouldn't have to worry about shifting or tipping and I think I've accomplished that nicely. I can move the left piece to break up the arch between the two, or fit it together without a gap.

Here are my final pieces!

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I was considering trying to get the pieces in the tank and get it planted and cleaned up before my son gets home from school but I think it best to wait until he gets home to have him help me. I'm sure a second pair of hands and eyes will be useful in placing these in the tank with fish.

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I’m looking forward to seeing your new hardscape in place. 
Plecos especially commons love crown plants like swords and then anything else. The BN will probably leaves some holes in your sword leaves on occasion. If you feed him veggies every other day should minimize plant impact (and snails will love it). A single piece of cucumber, zucchini, broccoli, squash and green beans are good choices. 
Plants look great as usual from ACO. Have fun looks like you are! 

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On 3/11/2022 at 1:08 PM, AndreaW said:

I'm still thinking I should swap the powerheads and direct the flow toward the outside walls instead of toward the center of the tank. Maybe breaking up the flow will help calm the water a bit.

Typically the powerhead output is directed forward and the front wall of the tank breaks up the flow. With the bowfront, the curve will probably just direct the flow towards the center. Even angling the flow towards the sidewall will still probably send a decent flow along the front wall. Some power heads can be adapted to support a spray bar. The spray bar directed towards the side might reduce the flow within the tank, and may help deter some algae on the sides.

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On 3/16/2022 at 3:40 PM, Widgets said:

Typically the powerhead output is directed forward and the front wall of the tank breaks up the flow. With the bowfront, the curve will probably just direct the flow towards the center. Even angling the flow towards the sidewall will still probably send a decent flow along the front wall. Some power heads can be adapted to support a spray bar. The spray bar directed towards the side might reduce the flow within the tank, and may help deter some algae on the sides.

The powerheads are Penguin 550s and are quite powerful. When directed toward the front of the tank, along with the HOB filter, there's enough flow along the front of the gravel that the snails start losing traction and almost get carried away.

A spray bar would be a great option if I could find one that fits! For now, I angled them toward the sides as much as I could (one angled further than the other one) and that seemed to break it up so there wasn't quite so much flow in the center.

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I was able to work with all fish in the tank thanks to the help of my trusty little sidekick, Dakota! 

Last goodbyes to the castle:

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I removed everything from the right half of the tank and placed the large driftwood & rock and then worked on the left side. I tried to disturb the substrate as little as I could. I want to preserve as much BB as I can since I had to remove the castle and plastic plants. I held off on a water change and filter cleaning last week and I'll wait a little bit before I disturb things further.

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Once the hardscape was in place, I began planting. That was the most time-consuming part. Some of the background plants are short so they are hiding behind the driftwood.

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I'll get better pictures tonight once the tank clears up and there are less reflections. 

Dakota said I'm not allowed to remove his stickers, so I guess they will stay for now... 

Overall, I'm really pleased with how it turned out and I'm really hopeful the plants do well. I'm not holding my breath on the Scarlet Temple, but it's pretty for now and I hope the Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus takes off. I'm really hoping the Anubias thrive in this tank since I can't have any in my 10G. These are my first Crypts so that will be fun to try out.

All the fish seem very pleased with the new arrangements except Gary the Pleco... but I never know with him anyway. I'll put some cucumbers in tonight for him and the snails.

I'm hoping the white rocks will show a little algae soon and blend in a bit. Down the road I will need to replace the uplift tubes and see if I can do spray bars on the powerheads to break up the flow. For now, I'm sure I will obsess over the plants.

 

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I love the new look. And the BSA stickers give it a unique personalized touch. You put a lot more thought and work into your makeover compared to what I did for mine.

On 3/16/2022 at 7:52 PM, AndreaW said:

I'm hoping the white rocks will show a little algae soon and blend in a bit.

With the bright lights, it should not take long to get some algae on the rocks and wood.

On 3/16/2022 at 7:52 PM, AndreaW said:

Down the road I will need to replace the uplift tubes and see if I can do spray bars on the powerheads to break up the flow.

I have black corrugated plastic craft board as the background for all my tanks. The black power heads tend to blend in. I read a post somewhere else about using golf bag tubes to hide the uplift tubes. They are designed to separate the club handles in a golf bag. They are a bit larger diameter than the uplift tubes and just slide over after you cut them to length. Take another look at my tank picture in your hygger light thread.

Here is an Amazon link, but you may find them cheaper at a local sporting goods store. The salesman did try to dissuade me from the purchase due to issues with the clubs rusting when put away wet. He was confused when I told him it was for my fish tank.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HZDLDZM/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_i_SSBJZHQB3XV027DZYSM1?psc=1

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

My tank is doing quite well despite my odd KH results. Current parameters:

  • KH 4° (71.6)
  • GH 20° (358)
  • pH 7.0
  • Ammonia <.25ppm
  • Nitrite 0ppm
  • Nitrate 40ppm
  • Phosphate 10ppm
  • 78.4°F

I tested the KH on 3/18 and it said it was 3°! My tap water is 7°KH, and I've been doing a series of small water changes and still can't seem to get it up higher than 4°. I've read that a lot of mulm or a dirty tank that hasn't had water changes for a long time cause a drop in KH, but that's not the case with my tank so I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm going to keep up the small, frequent changes, especially since my nitrates are are at 40.

I have not dosed any EG since my nitrates are 40ppm. New plants are doing pretty well, with typical melting. The Scarlet Temple probably looks the worst of them all, but I was expecting that. I think I have leaf nippers as I keep noticing the tips of leaves are missing on ST and PSO. I have been replanting 1-2 stems of the PSO pretty much every day due to the Kuhlis and Cories and probably Gary the Pleco as well. 

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I'm trying to figure out how to retrofit spray bars to the power heads do distribute the flow. Still researching the best way to make it work. I may just have to buy the spray bars and figure it out when I have them in hand.

Today I was at the LPS and ended up buying 6 Neons because I felt awful about the single one I have in there now. He seems very happy to have some friends and they all seem to follow his lead. I have been telling my son we couldn't add any more fish until we make sure the tank can handle it since we are pretty heavily stocked already. What he really wanted to buy were some meal worms to keep as a pet with his garden snail. I figured the neons were a good compromise.

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The snails seem to enjoy the plants and driftwood in the tank. I've been trying to make sure they have enough calcium and I'm not quite sure if their shells look healthy or not? They look a little rough to me. Finally, I got a picture of my snail not caught in an embrace. 

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Oh, and while I was enjoying the "natural" look, my son declared that the tank needed a little something, so he made me put all the glass rocks back in. :classic_laugh: Since it's in his room, and he's taken it over, I guess he gets some say in how it looks.

I've been trying to leave some of the algae on the glass while I'm making sure my nitrogen cycle stays intact, but it looks like the glass and the back of the tank need a good cleaning.

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Notice the sad Scarlet Temple in the back of the tank below... Everything else is looking pretty good so far! I got Gary's Repashy in the mail today so I'll mix some of that up this weekend and see how he likes it.

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On 3/25/2022 at 6:02 PM, AndreaW said:

I'm trying to figure out how to retrofit spray bars to the power heads do distribute the flow. Still researching the best way to make it work. I may just have to buy the spray bars and figure it out when I have them in hand.

It looks like the flow director on the power head output will snap off and a rubber hose should fit over the output. Hopefully the same size hose will connect to the spraybar. They usually come with suction cup hangers for the spraybar. If the hose sizes do not match you will have to experiment with reducers and such.

The tank is looking great. I like the stickers and colored glass.

Edited by Widgets
Stupid typos
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  • 2 weeks later...

I spent some time with this tank yesterday. It got a 15 gallon water change. No gravel vacuuming, but I did clean the glass and used a toothbrush across the front to clean up along the bottom front. This poor tank has pretty scratched up glass from my kids discovering the magnetic glass cleaner and being 'helpful' but there is nothing I can do about that.

I added 2 new Anubias Nana Petites, a Water Sprite, a Tiger Lotus, and Aponogeton Crispus. The last three are experimental, just to see how they do in my tank. I added the Anubias to the driftwood, the Water Sprite is on the right to fill in that side and hopefully get some taller greenery there. I planted the Aponogeton Crispus among the Scarlet Temple stems to get some color there and maybe fill in if the ST doesn't make it, and the Tiger Lotus is in the back center. I was really unsure where to put the Tiger Lotus, so if anyone has any better ideas, let me know. I didn't know if it should be in the front if it eventually send out lily pads that reach the top? Right now it's kind of floating around the middle back.

Here is a side view along the back of the tank: Lotus on left (bottom), Scarlet Temple Stems and Aponogeton Crispus to the right (middle).

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All my Crypts and my Red Melon Sword are doing great and show new growth!

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I haven't done EG in this tank since the nitrates are high (40ppm, usually). These ones look like they could use some additional nutrients; New growth is a lighter with darker veins. These are along the edge of the UGF so I can probably do some root tabs in front of them.

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Val isn't doing much, but the PSO has new growth that looks great!

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I've had diatoms and I'm happy to see some green algae growth now too. I'm wondering if I will get some BBA growth as I had it in the tank before. I'm expecting it, but it's never been bad in this tank.

My tank this morning (apparently all the fish are on Spring Break):

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Add a small pinch of flakes and it comes alive!

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While I really like the addition of the Water Sprite on the left side, My biggest success yesterday was with the water change. For some reason lately, my KH in this tank has dropped down to 3-4° (tap water is 7°) so I've been doing lots of water changes, and finally yesterday I was able to get the KH back up to 7° and the pH at 7.6 (which is the usual as well).

Another success is that Gary the Pleco has been hanging out on the bottom under the larger driftwood sometimes. I made up two kinds of Repashy for him but have no idea if he's actually eating them. I've been dropping them down in this area after I feed the other fish at night and then turn the light off. I guess if I was truly curious I could sit in the room with night vision goggles. That might be a little weird though, as it's in my son's bedroom and he's usually falling asleep then.

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Next up for this tank is creating a DIY submersed spray bar that will run along the back wall between the two powerheads. I also need to change out the uplift tubes for new ones and clean the back glass and replace the blue background. The right powerhead is also making noise so I may replace the impeller or the unit. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Saturday I got my ACO order with  some Gold Coin Anubias, Golden Anubias, and Green Wavy Buce. I also attended a local fish club auction and walked out with some new stem plants to try! Dwarf Val (I have some Val already), Mermaid Weed, Bacopa Caroliniana, and some other unlabeled Crypts, Anubias and Java Moss. I've taken a new approach on plants. Rather than try what is "easy and fail-safe" I'm going to try different things and see what does well and what doesn't. I think I have some nibblers in my tank though...

  • Scarlet Temple ~ Still stems. Every time I think I see new growth, it disappears. (Nibblers?)
  • Val is recovering and I'm finally seeing some growth!
  • PSO growing alright. New growth looks great!
  • Crypts ~ Most are doing really well in my tank
  • Java Ferns ~ Also growing well!
  • Tiger Lotus ~ So very cute! I have a bunch of little leaves and finally found a spot for it to rest.
  • Water Sprite ~ Keeps getting stripped and uprooted. Now it's weighted. (Nibblers?)
  • Aponogeton Crispus had some new growth that quickly disappeared. (Nibblers?)
  • Mermaid Weed is already showing signs of melt
  • Bacopa Caroliniana also showing signs of melt.
  • Planted all my new Anubias and Buce as well (all glued to rocks)

I also found a new little buddy at the auction that we fell in love with:

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I set up a new 10G tank with a bunch of the plants I got at the auction and I took some of the rocks from the 46G to give him some algae to eat. He wasted no time filling his belly. I placed a bunch of new rocks in the 46G to grow some more algae for him until the 10G starts growing some. He will stay there until I think he's big enough to move. So far he turns up his nose at Repashy.

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Left corner (Added Anubias & Buce):

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Middle front (Added Anubias):

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Right corner (Tiger Lotus found a spot):

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Back behind the drifwood (Mermaid Weed and Bacopa):

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I think I need to swap the MW & Bacopa since the MW gets taller and fuller than the Bacopa, but I worry about MW competing with PSO. Assuming it all survives!

 

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ORD 😍😍😍 WOOHOO 🎉 Looks like you had a magnificent plants haul.  It’s so fun to try new plants. Even if they don’t make it for me I at least get to see them in my tank for a bit.  Your new little longfin pleco is ADORABLE 🥰❤️💕

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Bacopa caroliniana is literally the slowest growing plant for months... and even once it gets happy, it's still slower than molasses. On the plus side, it really isn't picky, and brighter lights just seem to increase the chance of algae growing on it. Mine grows best under the canopy, lol. I get about 2" of growth/month in the Patient Spouse's™ tank. The rest of the tanks are slower growth.

Fabulous plant haul! I am having more success with stem plants now that I am not initially putting stems in the ground (thank you @Guppysnail). Let them establish some roots first, and they seem to grow faster. Scarlet temple has shown the biggest difference with the new regimen. Plus, more roots in the water column = faster depletion of nitrates from the tank.

Your new pleco is adorable!

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@Torrey  & @Guppysnail ~ Thank you! :classic_laugh: I'm not sure the Bacopa or Mermaid Weed are going to survive in this tank. There are already chunks missing and I suspect it's Sir Gary the Pleco that's stripping them. Maybe he won't be able to eat them as much if they are floating? They seemed to have good roots on them so I planted them straight into the substrate, and I do have an UG filter, so figured it would get plenty of nutrients. I think I'll uproot my Scarlet Temple stems to see if they will do better floating for a bit.

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