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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello! :-D

22 of March of this year I signed up for this forum.
After 20 days of reading my first 20 gal Planted Tank was launched. (12 of April, "As good as it gets")

I wanted to say many thanks to all my friends and people I don't know. Without this forum I would be totally lost. I greatly appreciate every comment and bit of advice. I am still learning and enjoying every minute of my hobby. This is very nice to see all of you, who love it too.
And now… here is my 50 gal.

Main challenges:

1) I don't know what I am doing!

2) This tank is for my two Goldfish and they eat plants… I have two common goldfishies, Hagrid and His Pet. (Hagrid is a character from "Harry Potter" book) .Most of the plants I used are coming from the tank they are sitting right now and I know they will live it alone. So they are moving in with their own furniture, so to speak. But some of it will get eaten and I am ready for it!

3) I don't know how to classify my tank, it is somewhat low tech, somewhat El Natural, but I might be wrong. I do have a filter and T5 lights, and for now this is it. No dosing with anything and no CO2 injections. If I am not in the right part of the forum, I apologize for that.

Lights: I have two T5 light fixtures sitting on top of the tank, 2 x 24W and 2 X 39W, but for now I keep the lights down and photoperiod is… undetermined.

Filtration: AquaClear HOB with cured media, but I do have Eheim 2026 running if I need to use it.

Substrate: I mineralized some Home Depot soil for about three weeks in the trays sitting in my living room on every flat surface I could find. The recipe is from AaronT, and he was nice enough to even mail me some dolomite, potash and clay, and that was really great! Thank you, Aaron! :)

For those who would like to do the same thing, I would strongly recommend doing it outside, and not only because of immediate danger of stepping into those trays in the dark in the middle of the night, (this is a minor complication), but because of the dirt drying out at extremely slow pace. Some sun light would be great.

I capped it with Eco Complete.

Rocks are sitting right on the bottom of the tank, not on the substrate, all of them.

Sand is a Desert Sand from Mosser Lee Company and I think I should replace it with some bigger grain something.

Plants (for now):
Saggittaria Subulata
Some Vallisneria
Crypt Spiralis
Rotala Mini
Rotala Rotundifolia
Mayaca Fluviatilis
Limnophila Aromatica
Hemianthus Micranthemoides
Hygrophilia Difformis
Anubias petite
Java fern needle leaf

Yea, I am creating a salad bar again, but in this case my fish might really enjoy it. :D

Set up process:

25 of may.


We started at 10 PM. For some reason I thought 2-3 hours would be enough to finish it up. Who was I kidding? Building up the islands.



Some time later - my help, support and inspiration Chris looked so tired, I discharged him off to bed immediately at this point.



Midnight. All by myself, :violin: continuing to fiddle with the wood and everything else.



2 AM. Most of the plants are in, or so as I thought.



3 AM. More plants went in. Suddenly I realized this Island on the left shouldn't touch the glass, it just didn't look right to me.
I had to drain the water and fix it all over again. It was unbelievably messy and I had to change the water a few times because my soil got all over the place.



5 AM - Finally everything is in place and looks OK. It takes forever to fill it up. When I was so close to my victory, redid the Island and cleaned up the mess, the left branch of wood FLOATED even though I used epoxy, glue, wire, rocks and everything I could think of to hold it down. My General Meltdown momentum. :heh:



6 AM. After an hour of fight, I gave up. I took the branch out to take a picture. It is light outside, as you can see, the window is on the left. Yup, the sun is up.

After this painful and SLOW going process, I couldn't look at the tank for two days.

27 of May, two days later:
Removed some reg. Java fern, added some more plants in. 20% water change.



Front



Right side.



Left side.

June 1, the update.

Yesterday I got rid of HOB, switched to Eheim 2026, added some Blyxa Japonica in hope it will take and will not get eaten. Added some more plants, increased the time I keep the lights on.
No algae, none of any kind yet. But some white fuzz on the branches.



Front



Right



Left



Right side only



Left side only



Proud Owner

If this thread is not going to blow up the entire server, I will be happy to hear from all of you.

Thank you!!!: :-D
 

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Nice job! I would have given up way before daylight. It will wait for you. Love the islands. I always think they look so good but can't bear the thought that the sands/dirts will get all mixed up by the fish and replanting. So I resign myself to one substrate with different levels. Kinda boring but it can stand the test of time and puttering.

I didn't think L. Aromatica or Blyxa Japonica are low light. How are they doing?
 

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Wow Shurik im so amazed by first the journal you gave on the setup, second by the photos, and third by the amazing tank in which you have created. i almost hate seeing the goldfish go into this amazing tank. is there another option?

im so happy you are the proud owner of this tank now all i need to do now is get you a plane ticket and get you to come up here for when i get to do my rainbow tank.

best of luck shurik! great work and see what you can do about the golds:mrgreen:
 

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It's beautiful!

I wish my goldfish would let me do something like that in their tank without total destruction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tex Gal, I got so caught up fighting with the wood and rebuilding the Island, that I haven’t notice it was getting light outside! Plus I created such a horrible mess I wanted to finish it up before Chris wakes up and sees it in such a misery. :heh:
As of two different substrates, I got a hand of it in my 20 gal. If you separate them really well with the stones, there is no mess and nothing gets mixed up.
I do move plants a lot, in 20 gal and here just as well it is a constant process of catching the floaters and shoving them back in etc, but it is not bad at all. In fact, what you see is the original sand I placed in the very beginning, and I didn’t have to clean it from the eco complete yet.

L. Aromatica is doing fine, I had it in my 20 gal for over a month now and once it gets going, it is growing like crazy. I had few little stems (1"-2"-3" max) in the beginning; I got them from Jeff P as a part of a package. I looked at the description and figured no way I can have it – too difficult, needs too much light. But I gave it a try. (I can’t stand throwing out any plants). Now I have the whole jungles of it. I think that this plant was “overrated” for difficulties and light requirements. Or… my light intensity is underrated because it is T5 bulbs.

As of Blyxa… this might get eaten just as L.Aromatica! And I don’t know what’s going to happen. When I got it, it was very pale green. Now it is getting some golden brown reddish color. Well, we’ll see what’s going to happen to it.

These are two plants my fish is not familiar with. They might like it.

Helenf, do you have fancy goldfish? Mine are common ones. Do yours really eat every green thing in the tank? What about some ferns? This is how mine started out, they used to chew everything. It’s just they eat every new plant and then kinda get tired of it and quit. And I am more patient then them. :D

Yea, I know, I know, Bratyboy2, I know it is boring fish, does not look good, but I think I got stuck with them. All the options I had for them where not good enough. And I guess I got used to them... :)
 

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I'm always so happy my plants are growing at all that I never really care about what to plant where, and how that can be so aesthetically pleasing. Then I see pictures like yours...

Main challenges:

1) I don't know what I am doing!
You're not fooling me! ;)
Jim
 

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A damn nice aquarium.

I only spent about 2 hours setting mine up. I had all these ideas about how it was gonna look, but then it got really tedious so I just bunged all the plants in any old how. A few of them have lost the bottom of their stems and are just clinging on by their roots... I wanna see what becomes of them.
 

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Wow, Shurik! That tank looks GREAT! You did a really good job on the layout. Very impressive!!!!!
 

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Wow, this is a very beautiful layout. I'm curious what you have tied to the branch on the right. It looks kind of viney.
 

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I'm glad you finally got everything setup. I must say that I really like the rock work you did. It looks very natural. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Oh wow, how nice to see so many visitors! :cheer2:

Davemonkey:
I was fussing with the moss, but for now I decided to wait on mossy look because it doesn't look right to me. Perhaps later, when every single plant will get eaten, :mrgreen: I will have to come back to anubias, ferns and moss (out of desperation). granted I got anubia farm, thanks to Jeff P! :D
After reading your "moss"thread, I got just about every single thing mentioned there to use for moss attaching.

AaronT: I am so happy to see you! :D And also I already see some results from going through your recipe of soil preparation. First of all I don't have any ammonia spike as I had in two other tanks with the soil; second of all plants took off really well, third of all... No algae yet. What else… Everything behaves very well.

Cah925: I wish I remembered the name of that viney plant, hehehe, what a shame! Bacopa australis?

Tex Gal, now I am going through temptation of letting my fish in… Please tell me not to! :heh:

Any ways, here is my L. Aromatica. Note that white fuss on the branch. How elegant, huh? :puke:
I don't know if I should do something about it, perhaps it will clear up itself. That would be great!



And this is my poor Blyca japonica, going brownish-pink. I wonder what it means.
I timed my lights, for a couple of days it was up to 6 hours a day. (I started from about 4hours a day).


To everyone: Two month into this hobby, I really don't know what the heck I am doing, but I guess should pretend I do. But honestly, everything I learned is from this forum. This is great! :grouphug:

Dear Goalcreas! I know you are busy right now, but I am really waiting to hear what you say about all this. You spent so much time tutoring me! :D
 

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Those are some great colors! I'm jealous! Nice layout. I can tell you put a lot of thought and effort into it. Have you decided what kind of fish yet? It looks like a shrimp paradise. You wouldn't have to worry about your moss with shrimp, but then again you would be really limited to your fish choice.

Where did you get the sticks? I'm planning a little experiment soon and was wondering if you found those sticks and treated them for the tank use?

In my experience with the hair algae you have is that the algae that is in there now will continue to grow if you leave it. If you pick it out whenever you find it, when your plants eventually settle in, they will out compete it and it will not come back. I had a horrible time with it choking my java moss and I kept thinking it would go away but after I removed it, it didn't come back... at least not there. I have a tiny bit forming on my swords now but not anywhere near the choking growth I had before. So, just pick it out and you should be fine. A toothbrush is recommended to easily tangle and remove the stuff. I didn't have a spare so I just used my fingers and it came out pretty easily. Otherwise, I hear Mollys will eat it as well as Amano shrimp.

I love the seamless corners of your tank. It makes such a huge difference. Good stuff. I'd never have known you were only in this for 2 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Dear Yum!

I got plenty of hair looking coarse green algae in my 20 gal NPT. Also I've noticed today some pinholes on Red Temple and slight whitening of my pogostemon helferi. Oh great! :(

So I guess I need some potassium and iron for 20 gal now, and probably I will try some root tabs, I am really not so crazy about dosing the tank every day, I really would love not to. But yes, I am into growing plants for the whole two month and few days now, so… I was planning to add some shrimps in there too, ether Amano or Cherry, but now I am in process of reading about them. My head is delightfully empty :D and I really need some info on everything.

I remember you had some problems with potassium as well, how do you deal with it?

As of fish choice for this 50 gal, Bratyboy2 is absolutely right I am on my path to stupidity. :mrgreen: This 50 gal is set up for my Hagrid and His Pet, and they are common GOLDFISH!

I know… But Goalcreas is usually the one who takes me off this path, and he is missing in action! :( And my goldie don't have anywhere else to go. They are sitting in 10 gal now waiting for their plant festival to open.

I got some Manzanita wood from FishandTurtlejunkie, he has great packages for all tank sizes and usually he is sending some extra branches. He can also put together some "custom" packages for you. I got enormous pile of wood left over, but they are pretty big branches, thick, long and straight and I don't know if you'd like them at all for your experiment.

Both of my tanks are SeaClear acrylic. They have funky precut holes on top and you may have some difficulties to fit your equipment in because you can not temper with it, you have to use those holes. Modifying the top of it will compromise tank integrity and it will bulge out. But it is all good to me, I am not a pro. :D
 

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Shurik, IME the red temple, alt. reineckii, can be very finicky. I wouldn't worry about what you're doing wrong to get the pin holes. I had some beautiful plants growing for a few months. I dose NPK, CSM+B, 30ppm CO2, good water circulation and now all the older leaves have spots, GSA and some brown spots, pinholes and some are just melting away. I have also read, by Hoppy, that in his experince they have also been a bit of an algae magnet. Oh well I am probably going to top the current plants and get rid of the older rooted portions. We'll see what happens.
 

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I have to agree with Bratyboy . Dont let the goldfish destroy this !!! Put some angels in it or maybe even discuss ...It is really wonderful tank.
 

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Dear Yum!

I got plenty of hair looking coarse green algae in my 20 gal NPT. Also I've noticed today some pinholes on Red Temple and slight whitening of my pogostemon helferi. Oh great! :(

So I guess I need some potassium and iron for 20 gal now, and probably I will try some root tabs, I am really not so crazy about dosing the tank every day, I really would love not to. But yes, I am into growing plants for the whole two month and few days now, so… I was planning to add some shrimps in there too, ether Amano or Cherry, but now I am in process of reading about them. My head is delightfully empty :D and I really need some info on everything.

I remember you had some problems with potassium as well, how do you deal with it?

As of fish choice for this 50 gal, Bratyboy2 is absolutely right I am on my path to stupidity. :mrgreen: This 50 gal is set up for my Hagrid and His Pet, and they are common GOLDFISH!

I know… But Goalcreas is usually the one who takes me off this path, and he is missing in action! :( And my goldie don't have anywhere else to go. They are sitting in 10 gal now waiting for their plant festival to open.

I got some Manzanita wood from FishandTurtlejunkie, he has great packages for all sizes and usually he is sending extra branches. I got enormous pile of wood left over, but they are pretty big, thick and long and I don't know if you'd like them at all for your experiment.

Both of my tanks are SeaClear acrylic. They have funky precut holes on top and you may have some difficulties to fit your equipment in because you can not temper with it, you have to use those holes. Modifying the top of it will compromise tank integrity and it will bulge out. But it is all good to me, I am not a pro. :D
In regards to the potassium, I've finally gotten some potassium supplement from Will5 but I've been hesitant to put it in the tank as I heard there were some issues with shrimp death but I'm going to start slow tonight and put in tiny amounts to see what happens. I was going to try root tabs but they all seemed to have some amount of copper which will kill shrimp.

Cherry shrimp are really easy in my experience thus far. I wanted to add a few amano to the tank but the LFS recommended I leave them out. He said they can get aggressive with the smaller shrimps and bully them and I have read someone on this board reporting the amano's actually taking nips at his fish.

Ok, I've got to get back to work. I'm actually in a meeting and almost got caught... :rolleyes:
 

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The layout looks great! Isn't it amazing how such a (seemingly) simple project takes so much time. I've done the exact same thing, thinking an aquarium project would only take me about 3 hours and then finishing up 6-7 hours later (plus time for cleanup).

I can't believe you're going to put herbivorous fish in there. It's just too pretty to use as a salad bar. Maybe you have room somewhere for another tank for the plant munchers?
 

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2 months into this!... you are a natural!!!

I dose EI (Potassium) in my plant grow out tank. I have blueberry shrimp and amano shrimp in there. They do fine. Perhaps its the Crystals that have a hard time with it. I don't does anything in my chrystral tank. The amano shrimp are usually the 1st to eat when I feed the shrimp, but they don't hurt anyone. I can't imagine them hurting fish. I did have some red nose shrimp once that did catch and eat fish but they grew to 3". They were sold to me as feeder shrimp but multiplied in my tank.

OK - NO!!! DON'T put your fish in yet!! (How's that?) Now it's your turn to tell me! :D Oooooooh how I want to put them in!!!
 
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