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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm moving in a week, and thought I'd give the tank a little overhaul at the same time. I'm relatively new to planted tanks: I can grow 'em, but I can't quite aquascape. I really like the red melon sword in the front left, the marimo ball, and the java moss. Clearly, whatever plant it is in the back is unruly. I see so many pictures of beautifully aquascaped tanks.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2004-7/781476/29Gfullview.JPG
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2004-7/781476/Sword.JPG
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2004-7/781476/29Gfull2.JPG

PLEASE give me advice!!

Thanks!
 

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Your stem plants seem to include a mixture of Rotala rotundifolia, Bacopa monnieri, and what seems to be Anachris? I think some gardening skills have to be learned here, with more effort paid attention to trimming those stem plants into tighter bushes and to plant health --some of those plants do not seem to be all that healthy. I am curious to know, what is the lighting on this aquarium? Due to their condition, I feel that the lighting may not be intense enough for them.

I would take out the disk-like rock (?) under the driftwood. Perhaps you would be interested in adding more, longer pieces of driftwood covered in Anubias nana, Java moss, and Java Fern? You could use the the E. xbarthii (melon sword) as a slightly-off-center-piece.

Carlos
 

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When taking pictures of tanks using digital photos do the following basics...

Put camera on a tripod, turn off flash and lights in the room, turn tank lighting on. Use a 2 second timer on the camera so that the camera doesn't shake when pressing the shutter-button. Don't forget to turn your filters off...no current (so the plants don't move)

Some close ups would be nice...

Thanks,
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. I don't have a tripod for the camera right now. Also, the lighting on the tank is about 75 watts. I have 2 DIY CO2 inputs. When I took pictures without the flash, the lighting in the aquarium bleached out all of the tops of the plants. I'll try to take some new pictures this weekend. What type of foreground would you suggest? I was thinking that if I got a foreground plant that was nice and bushy, then maybe grassy plants in the back would look nice. How many background types of plants are good? One, two? Should I clump them more? I just moved some of the taller plants in the back left, which is why they seem a little irritated. They are actually quite healthy, and grow very quickly. The Bacopa (money wort is what I bought it as) grows well too, but seems more prone to getting some green algea on its leaves. Thanks again for all your input.

- Andrea
 

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Andrea,

Are those 75 watts of light from normal flourescent bulbs or power compact bulbs?

How long have you had that E. xbarthii?

I am leery to suggest any foreground plant at this point, since the growth habits of your plants are showing some problems. The bottom portions of your Rotala should not be so bare, and the Bacopa monnieri shows alternating leaf sizes along the stem --which isn't a good thing.

For grassy plants, I would avoid Vallisneria and tall Crypts because they will get too large. Instead, I suggest the more finely leaved Eleocharis montevidensis (giant hairgrass). I would also suggest a stronger driftwood arrangement to anchor your layout.

The weekly topic archive is an excellent resource, as are the monthly interviews in the aquascaping articles section. I hope you will give them a glance.

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the information. The bacopa's growth shows smaller leaves where a stem must have been broken when I bought it, and a new, smaller stem has grown out of it. The lights are 55watts from a compact flourescent and 20 watts from a regular tank bulb. I'll look around the site to get a better idea of what to do, and maybe post pictures of the tank a while after I move so you get an idea of how things really grow. Is the E. xbarthii the melon sword? I have had it for close to 6 months, and it has been growing wonderfully. Ocassionally I will trim some leaves off so that others can get better light. I have a better piece of driftwood I could use, how do I transfer the Java fern from one piece to the other without damaging it?

Thanks,
Andrea
 

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Please keep us updated with photos. You seem to have adequate lighting --enough lighting that you are probably deficient in something else. Are you adding CO2?

If your melon sword (E. xbarthii) is that small in 6 months, I think you would be surprised that a really healthy E. xbarthii should be able to completely takeover your 29g in six months. I am not trying to put down your growing skills, but trying to point out that you may want to work on your gardening skills and continue to work on your plant health. *I* still work on perfecting plant health with each of the plant species I maintain.

You can simply yank the Java Fern off and transfer it to the new piece of driftwood. These are tough plants, and this 'abuse' will not set it back.

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I do have CO2, and I use liquid fertilizers. I am not sure what I'm not doing right. Please help. I will update with pictures the next time I can convince my boyfriend to let me borrow the camera. I have moved, and re-organized the tank, and added a nice new piece of driftwood. I also got rid of a bunch of the background plants. I have a 2 Liter DIY CO2 and also a nutrafin co2 thing that hangs on the back of the tank and has a little ladder in the tank for the bubbles to go on. What could the problem be? Are there other fertalizers that I should be adding? With the sword, I have cut off a few leaves every so often to keep it smaller, but I don't think if I hadn't that it would be too big for my tank. Any more advice would help, and I'll try to get more photos up asap.

Thanks!
- Andrea
 

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What liquid fertilizers are you using and how much?

Are you adding any nitrate or phosphate? With those lighting levels, you will need them to get the best out of your plants.

Vibrantly healthy plants are essential for a good aquascape.

Carlos
 
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