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120 planted tank journal


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Starting a new journal spot, since the journey of the DIY tank stand is complete - linking that here just for my own future reference:

And NOW, on with the journey of setting up our first planted tank, scaping, adding fish over from the 55 etc etc...

Last night we added the substrate (hence the water is a little cloudy), setup the filter and started playing around with wood and rock.  Hubby wanted a "rock look" background, and I wanted plain black, but I caved and let him have the rocks.  The tank WAS full until we turned on the filter - man that thing sucked out a lot of water.  😂

BIG order of plants (from the co-op of course) comes on Thursday!  Though when I put it all in the tank I am sure it will not look big enough!  

Overall by repurposing an old piece of furniture and scouting out a used tank on fb marketplace, we saved a LOT of money setting this tank up!   Still planning to build a matching canopy, and looking forward to my shelf plants growing in and making this my little jungle spot!  🙂

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Edited by Sal
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Posted (edited)

Humble beginnings....

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I know in terms of a planted tank it's pretty basic, but I am still very happy with everything so far and now just have to find the patience to let it grow and fill in...  I definitely need to add some vallisneria or something in the back to add height but, for now, let’s see how these do!  


 

 

Edited by Sal
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This looks amazing!!!  I love that whole corner!  The wallpaper...the deep green chest...the shelf with the potted plants...it's what dreams are made of! 😍

Your hardscape looks awesome, too!  I love the triangle composition that you've chosen!  I am jealoussss of your water clarity!

I've got to find a piece of furniture for my 20 gallon...that may be on the docket for this weekend!  You've given me a lot of inspiration!  Thank you for sharing!!!

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Posted (edited)

Thank you guys!  ❤️

So far only a couple of the plants are having the tiniest bit of melting - which I am expecting, so it's completely ok - and a couple of the plants have lightened up a little in color.   The substrate did change our pH quite a bit, so we are working that out, I am wondering if that could be why. 

Now to NOT add the fish too quickly.......  Ugh, patience is not my virtue!  😂

We also started planning out the canopy build.....  both of us keep waffling between something fancy with hinged doors that flip up, and something simple that just lifts off the top of the tank for water changes...  Hmmmmm.  Stay tuned for that.

@Betsy please share pics of your furniture DIY if you put something together!  For a 20 gallon you could really find something vintage and fun and give it a whole new life!  A fresh coat of paint and some new hardware is so easy and so rewarding.

Edited by Sal
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    Ok, 1 week update:

    Cryptocoryne Wendtii - So far doing well, no melting - maybe only a bit of discoloration, and definitely some new leaves poking out of the substrate.

   

    Red Flame Sword - These are doing really well, only a few melted leaves, and a bunch of new ones coming in.  I think I counted 4-6 new little leaves poking up through the substrate of each plant.

   

    Tiger Lotus bulb - Doing amazing!!  2 leaves melted away, but 3 new leaves came in right behind it and are growing a LOT every day.  The color is SO red, and is really looking beautiful already, I can't wait for it to get bigger.  I might add another one!

   

    Cryptocoryne Tropica - I think these are doing just ok at this point.  Quite a bit of melting and discoloration, but it does look like new leaves are coming in underneath.  I am hoping these do well, as I really love them from the pictures I've seen!! 

   

    Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus - Holding strong.  Seems to have almost no melting, but isn't growing at all yet that I can see.  

   

    Water Sprite - I got 2 of these...  I'd say they are both about 50% melted at this point, and one of them lost a few stems to my filter intake - I think I planted it too close.  But both have new little sprouts, so I'll hold out hope!  😂h9fjpkZtQ7YTNJDxWAzpIust_1YEqH2vbOEvGfqeV5Uj1bLvrzPdx7pA7sB1DZN7sBz60i7JnuCllVh3jt-XmqV-iBY-ZwSVXnNrR0CyhxUUATqEMUrzliF2mJ7K1amVb9CnIArQ

   

    Java Fern - These are holding strong too.  Only a bit of melting/discoloration on the edges of some leaves, but no new growth that I can see yet.  I am having a hard time keeping them in place, so I may try some fishing line this weekend.

   

    Amazon Sword - Doing GREAT! these appear to have no visible melting, and are absolutely putting out new leaves (3 or 4 on each plant that I can count.) 

   

    Scarlet Temple - Questionable at best...  You guys warned me that these can be difficult, and so far they are looking a little sad...  We will keep watching to see how they do.

   

    Anubius nana petite - I think I may have killed the smallest one with the super glue (jury is still out) but the other 2 are definitely putting out new leaves, and no melting.  I am excited to see how these do on my driftwood!

    Overall, I think it's going OK.  Getting the pH right with this new substrate was a little challenging, but a bit of crushed coral in the filter and we got readings that are right in line with our 55!  We may move a few fish over this weekend!  

A few pics...

 

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Posted (edited)

Stopped into the LFS for some supplies and just to look at some fish, and came home with these 4. 

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Have been wanting to add mystery snails for a while and yesterday was the day!

They all started exploring the tank right away, except for that little grey one who just sat in the same spot all evening.  We thought maybe he was dead but decided to leave him be overnight and this morning I woke up to this:

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It has already happened 3 more times today (and it's only lunch time) so I'm thinking about seeing if they want to set up an OnlyFans to fund our tank hobby...  😂😂😂

No but seriously, my entire family is already obsessed with these guys!  They're really fun!  I'm guessing we will have eggs soon?  Hahaha.
 

 

Edited by Sal
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Posted (edited)

Checking back in - at what point are you out of the woods with melting? 

For the most part, I think 90% of the plants are looking good and appear to have new leaves coming in!  It also appears that the snails took care of most of the dead leaves over the past week.  Excellent adorable worker bees, and so insanely fun to watch and find!  

Unfortunately, it looks like I might be losing at least one of the anubias nana petite, and I am still having a hard time getting the java fern and water sprite to stay where I want them.  My pleco also seems to keep digging up my tiger lily bulb daily...  😑 I will be trying to resolve these things again.

The cories and tetras are doing REALLY well so far.  They seem happier in this tank!  

We are moving the angels to the new tank this weekend... and then I will be ready to start quarantining some new fish, possibly as soon as Sunday!  Maybe some new easter fishies if the stores are open.

I also played around with some video footage on my Nikon D300s - this is the first time I have ever tried video on my DSLR, so I know it's not great. 😂  I tend to be a "wide open" aperture shooter (I love a blurry background) but I am learning that doesn't translate as great to moving subjects in video format... But it still has a "dreamy" vibe that I kinda love...  Enjoy!

 

Edited by Sal
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On 4/2/2021 at 6:32 PM, Betsy said:

Your corydoras are VERY cute!!! 😍 I may have missed this from an earlier post, but how many do you have in there?  They look so happy!!

They’re so fun to watch!  There are 7 in there at the moment, and as of yesterday another 6 in my quarantine tank!  

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This weekend's tank adventures included a spin through our LFS and picking up a new piece of driftwood, a couple more amazon swords, 6 more panda cories, and 25 (I think? how does anyone count them?) cardinal tetras.  I wanted a bigger school of cardinals, but that was all they had, so we will keep lookout for more.  They are all in the QT tank now, and so far everyone is doing great!

The angels are moved from the 55, which means we can finally start to break that tank down... That will be next weekends's project.  I haven't decided if we will keep it as an emergency backup, or sell it.  

Made another video of the tetras stealing the bottom feeder's snacks.  😂.  Hubby thinks I am a nerd for adding music, but whatever I am having fun, leave me be.  😂😂

 

I also snapped this pic of one of the snails last night...  So cute with his little orange freckles.  😍

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Posted (edited)

Well...  it looks like I've hit my first hurdle.  Someone is eating the plants...

So far, one anubius is completely gone, like overnight, disappeared.  It was a very small plant that was tucked into a crack on a rock.  

My crypts all have nibbles throughout the leaves, and it looks like one of my amazon swords has a leaf gone, just the stalk remains.  These appear to be normal healthy leaves that are getting nibbled...

Anything I can be doing to discourage this??  I am not sure who the culprit is between the snails and the plecos.  My guess is the snails?

I am feeding the tank twice a day with a combo of flakes/pellets/wafers, and O-nips a couple times a week.  I just got some repashy and plan to make a batch this weekend.  I have also be dropping in blanched spinach and zuchini like once a week as well.....  Should I be doing the spinach more frequently to lure away from plants??

Help!  I don't want them to all be eaten!!  (Thanks in advance!)

 

Edited by Sal
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Posted (edited)

Adding the 1 month update for anyone who wants to hear it!  🙂

Here's the tank today...  I've added some vallisneria, and a couple more (larger) amazon swords to the back - both of those were found at my LFS.   So far I've had some wins, and some flops, but I can see that there has been some growth over the month, so that makes me hopeful!  

The fish are eating the anubius nana petite, and the cryptocorynes (which is bumming me out) but so far the rest seem to be doing OK.

I can't get the java fern to stay put anywhere I put it, so there are a couple pieces just "free roaming" at the moment...  That is super frustrating.  😂

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First pic to compare
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49 minutes ago, Patrick_G said:

It looks great! For the Java fern I’ve glued them to a small stone and they stay put. What fish are eating the Anubias? That’s so weird since they’re almost as tough as plastic. 

I'm not 100% sure...  I did see one of my tetras (buenos aries tetras) pick at them the other day, but haven't seen them bother any plants before.  I had been thinking it was either the pleco or the mystery snails...

I am super bummed because I wanted to add more of the anubius.  But the 3 plants I had - 2 are completely gone and one is chewed down to stalks.  👎

 

 

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