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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This journal has been started a little late, but due to the tank dying while on vacation I am replanting it and upgrading some equipment. I have a 192 watt light system, but virtually no soil nutrients other than some laterite clay, and no co2 other than a small tube letting out over the out put of the filter from a DIY setup. I do small dosing (3 drops every other day) of a fertilizer called Flora 24. I will try to post pictures of what the tank looks like now after a couple months of cycling. In the tank now is about 9 Green Cory Cats, 10 Amano shrimp, and 15 cardinal tetras. The plants already in the tank are an Amazon sword, some small Java ferns, wisteria, creeping mint (MC), green crypts and red crypts (pretty sure these are wenditi), Rotala Indica, compact sword. I am slowly getting all the parts for a pressurised co2 system. I just won a bag of fertilizer (Greg Watson) from a raffle at a local club of aquarium enthusiasts (NASH) and strongly considering switching to it instead of flora 24. I will try to post pictures tomorrow if I can figure out how to host them online. Any advice along the way would be greatly appreciated. I can submit any other details too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
new pics

I figured out how to upload pics I think


Is the drift wood too big? To me its a little overpowering.



close up with cardinals


current co2

Note: the wall behing the tank is a blue green color and these are 2 week old photos, I'll try to update.
 

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I like your crypts very much but I do feel that the Amazon Sword(s?) will soon outgrow the tank... Btw, hv you tried filling in the foreground with some glosso or hairgrass? I think it'll add a really nice touch to the scape :)

Just my 2-cent worth, that's all :) Looking forward to the update :)
 

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Good start! I don't think the driftwood is really too big. Once the plants get growing a lot of it will be hidden and that will soften the effect. I like the mix of leaf color and shape. It will be nice to see how it fills in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok i took all the fish and shrimp out, removed all the gravel, plants, and driftwood, and added powesand special and Aqua Soil Amazonia. The fish were not easy to catch, especially the cory cats. I was almost finished removing the gravel when I saw a cory cat still in the tank. What they would do is find a depression in the gravel, and remain motionless. This made things really hard because while taking the plants out the tank got really cloudy. When I pulled the shrimp out with a net they would start walking on it and jump back into the water. They also hid in some of the holes in the drift wood. So when I took the driftwood out I placed it in water, and two that were in it, jumped into the water and were saved. In the course of catching the fish and shrimp I never lost one, they are all in my dads tank, he now has a school of 25-30 cardinals, 18 cory cats (Not very shy at all in large groups) and a ton of amano shrimp. I put the plants on a towel with newspaper and placed another towel over them. I than put the whole thing in my bathtub. Every so often I would turn the faucet on and wet them a little.



I couldnt get any good photos because I had no light while adding the driftwood and plants.


Finished putting plants back in. A very crude job of planting, lots of roots exposed, I need some tweesers.




A side view of the layering


Everything is very cloudy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Setup the co2 system. For now im just using a diffuser and silicone tubing. I'm almost finished building a reactor and am wating for it to dry. I tried using the macro function, but the photos are red. Better detail I think, but I need to find a way to make it less red.



 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have the co2 working reasonably well and I got new fish. 15 Harlequin Rasboras (I think I got the gold variety) and 10 Otos (9 right now because one went belly up,but still alive, because I think the Ph was too low, its now in another tank). The co2 really made a difference in some plants in just a day or so. The rotala and wisteria grew about half an inch in one day. I havent noticed an algae spike yet.

Overall

Some growth

Rasbora

School exploring the tank
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Its been a week or two now. I added a double flourescent I found in my attic that I had used a couple of years ago. Which now gives me almost 4.5 watts per gallon. I think it was around 4.38 or something.

The tank


Ludwigia Repens "Ruben"


I really like this part of the tank



Not sure wat this plant is but I got it free at a lfs

The harlequins

co2 reactor
Lighting
 

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I've been looking at your thread for a while now and haven't posted (sorry!), but I have to say how much I like it! Big fan of swords and really like your choice of wood too!

I'd try to get the stem plants at the back into a bit more solid clumps by planting them a bit closer when you prune. Make a better contrast to the ohter areas of the tank. Know what I mean? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Glad people are commenting

I used a timer, tripod, and think I got the camera decently setup when I took these photos. There should be more contrast when the wisteria grows taller(its in the back). Right now there are 4 swords and the regular amazons have grown into giants. I think I'm going to take out 2 of them just to give 1 more breathing room and give more light to the HC carpet I planted. I trimmed yesterday so the rotala is a bit short (I had about 10-20 strands very close to the surface.

Full tank

Different angle
 

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The difference from when you first planted is striking. The driftwood works well with your large swords and crypts. It's a good foil for the bright boldness of their leaves.
 
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