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davemonkey's 50 gal journal

47700 Views 290 Replies 49 Participants Last post by  mudboots
Okay, this is my first planted tank set-up. My goal is low-maintenance, low (or moderate) tech, and just to get a good feel for planted aquaria.

-Tank is 48"x13" and 18"tall (50 gal...or more like 48...).
-Substrate is "planted aquarium substrate" from, 3" deep.
-Filters: emperor w/bio-wheel; 1 powerhead on undergravel filter for right side of tank only.
-Lighting is 130 W PC of 50/50 10,000K and Actinic and a 2x15W "aquarium bulb" (came with original hood). Light duration is for 10 hrs (but only 8 with the PC hood).
-DIY CO2, 2x 1 gallon jugs with same ingredients for smaller containers (gives just a bit of CO2)
-dose excel and ferts

Plants are val, swords, crypts, anubia, egeria, mosses, java fern, hygo. difformis...low-mod light (due to half my light being actinic and non-productive)

Fish are random fellows I've been trying out, haven't yet decided what to keep in there. Getting rid of 5 SAE's and a Pictus Cat soon.

Many of the plants still need to do ALOT of filling in. Feel free to critique/comment. I am totally open to suggestions (unless it involves buying more plants for awhile). ;)

Here is the moss-rock I just tied-up a couple days ago. The SAE's liked it alot...yummy treat...hence, I'll be trading them in soon...:boxing:

Thanks for looking,
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sanity is over rated but good luck none the less
Thanks, Grim! :D
Well, that took 6 hours including most of the clean-up. Just need to wait for the water to clear. WHAT A MESS!!! :brushteet I will never do the UG filter again, unless it's on a fish-only (or fish-mostly) tank.

I felt a little bad about throwing away so many trimmings (TONS), but there still has not been enough time go by for me to be sure all the hydra are dead, and I don't want to get anyone infected. :fear: I think by next trim I should know if there are any survivors. TexGal, you were right about the need to get rid of my lazy-bone. What a mess that turned out to be. :doh: Still, they were sure neat looking (I had the kind that turn green...symbiotic relationship with algae... ) .

Anyway, it gave me a great chance to take the best cuttings and replant tops, and toss out plants that didn't have good color (come of the 'sunset' had less color than other stems, so they got tossed). Everything needs to grow in (and up) before it looks right, but I'll get some pics up soon.

Time to go get the girls up from their naps. :)

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Wow, Anahuac near Channelview. We might have a problem running a C02 line over the ship channel bridge. :) Some of those Vals after the black out are beginning to turn a pinkish brown color after giving them about 4 watts per gallon of light for 12 hrs today. It begins about about 1/2 way up to the tip. Before the black out some of the small crypts you gave me were green and beginning to get a brown area around the edge of the leaves and working to wards the middle. They are now about completely brown or bronze color, but seem very healthy. Is this normal for that variation to change from green to a dark brown color. Hope your plans work out and keep us informed.
Howdy "Old Man" ! Man, it's getting frusterating waiting around to hear something. But, that's government for you, hurry up and wait.

For the crypts, yes that's normal. They gain or lose color depending on the light and ferts. All the ones I have are brownish-red with a few green/motled leaves here and there. Higher light gives greener leaves, lower light gives redder. That's why most people just call them C. wendtii instead of C. wendtii 'red' or 'brown', etc...

I had the same thing happen when I had the Vals. The parts of the leaves right at the light turned pinkish. I guess it's light related, but I'm not sure if it's good or bad.
Water is still a little cloudy, so pics will have to wait a couple more days at least. In the meantime, here's a pic of my viscious killer dog:

LAZY!!!!!! When he's not doing this, he's in the yard chasing squirrels. But when he comes in the house, he's more often than not snoozing on someone's lap.

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Okay, water finally cleared up. The new scape is very much like the old, just cleaner-looking and more thought out. There's alot of growing to be done. Behind the large driftwood is Bacopa and 'Sunset' Hygro that will fill up the background in that area. In the far left/back corner is Polygonum hydropiperoides that I collected at my parents' (the source of the hydra I had to deal with) . :boxing: If it stays small or grows too slowly, it'll swap places with the crypts in front of it.

There are lots of pics, so sit back and enjoy.

P. hydropiperoides - side view

Front and slanted views

Left Side

Center Shot

Right Side

Looking from above - Right side

Other shots of 'stuff' - Christmas and Flame Moss, Anubias, local Eliocharis sp. (some of it got a hair-cut...doing a trial run) , my Ozelot sword...

Sorry for so many pics.
Thanks for looking,

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your tank looks awesome Dave
Thanks, grim. And I didn't even need my sanity to do it! :D
Thanks, grim. And I didn't even need my sanity to do it! :D
see i told you it was over rated. Seriously though keep up the good work it really looks nice.
Your tank is MARVELOUS!!! Great work. I really love it. Your sword and apon are fabulous. Love the ludwigia on the right. It's interesting but not messy. Love where you have the bacopa. Your mix of shape color and texture are great. You do good!!!:bounce:

BTW: your moss rock on your power head makes me laugh!
BTW: your moss rock on your power head makes me laugh!
heehee. That was actually an "oops" moment. :rolleyes: I have it sitting there to get more light/faster growth since I just tied it on a couple days ago. For the pictures I had meant to put it under the sword. (Eventually when the ludwigia covers up the powerhead, it'll have to be moved anyway.) Oh well.

That Apon has gotten HUGE and has grown 14 new leaves since you sent it to me! It almost looks like two different full-size plants right now. :D A great deal of credit for my scape goes out to you, TexGal...being that half of it came from your tank at one time or another!

Well, it's official. I report to Anahuac on November 9, so I'll be moving to the Houston Area! :bounce:

That means I'll get to meet up with some of the NASH folks. :wave:

It also means I have to tear down the tank, :Cry: , move everything while trying to keep my fish and plants alive, :shock: , and re-do it...all over again. :Drogar-Si

I know it would be easier to get rid of everything and start from scratch after the move, but I really want to keep what I've got and I know I can make it work. :loco:

Oh, some other news. The Apon longiplumulosus (spelling?) is sending up a flower stalk. Hopefully I'll get to see the flower spike before the move.

Great tank, Dave. I understand your feeling in tearing it down after putting so much work into it.

On the brighter side, you'll be amongst a lot of friends from our forum. :cool:

Good Luck on your move.

I want....your mosses...your plants...your tank. :p
All your slower growing plants and your mosses will make the trip fine. (Really most of your plants will make it if you can get the tank set back up quickly). I think your idea to give many of your stem plants to NASH is a very nice and good idea. They will be able to restock you once your set up. Take care with your little baby crypts! They are rare and hard to come by! Mine are doing great. They are getting thicker. A few have sent out a little longer leaves. They are so cute!!!

Glad you're getting to move to where you want to be. Are you ready for the humidity!!! :D
Shhhhhh. We hiding the humidity till next summer.
Thanks, Ravi, for the compliments. Yep, I think I'm ready for the challenge of moving and especially ready to join the Houston club.

Sunstar, :D . My only 2 secrets to getting it to look like that are PATIENCE, and choosing plants that are EASY TO PLEASE. Then you just shuffle them around several times until you start to see how they look in different places, etc... It took me 9 months to get to this point, and I still feel like I've got ALOT of learning to do. :rolleyes:

TexGal, you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be pampering those crypts! I keep seeing the little side shoots come up and make new plants! I think I'll be able to share some more in just a few more months. :D I'm NOT ready for the humidity, but my wife is. She's been begging me to get moved back toward East Texas ever since we moved out here. She's been running humidifiers again since the weather cooled. She certainly won't need them in Houston! (I might need a de-humidifier, though. ) :twitch:

The old man, there's no hiding it. I'll get used to it though. I grew up/lived in Pasa-"get down"-dena for 14 years (elementary through high school)...and lived in South Houston before that. It's been 15 years now since I've lived there, but I'm sure I'll adjust.

We start our house-hunting trip this Thursday. And our 3-yr old will be staying with Nana and Papa...Yippyyyyyy! Oh, I mean, I'll miss her for those few days... :tape2:
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I know it takes time... but you got some nice specimines :p

I'd have better success with Claude's tank if Claude did not insist on uprooting her stuff.
Except for the two peices of driftwood (with anubias, moss, and java fern attached), the 'little bronze crypts', and a stone covered in Christmas Moss, my tank is EMPTY! :Cry: My fish are a little peaved at me for taking away all the good hiding places and 'homes', but, they'll forgive me...maybe.

Now it's time to brainstorm what it should look like when I get finished moving. I'm considering another 'Ozelot' sword surrounded with nothing but low-growers. The only other significant height would be from the driftwood peices. Or, I may shoot for the same set-up I just removed. Decisions, decisions. Oh well, I can't do anything pro-active about it until November 1, so, there's plenty time to think. 8-[

Had a bit of a scare for a couple days! My wife and I decided to rent instead of buy since there is still alot of clean-up and repairing from Ike (not to mention we were in a bit of a time crunch for moving). We found a really nice house on the NorthEast side of Houston about 15 minutes South of Humble (just North of 90).

ANYWAY, I was double checking the Lease Agreement on pet-policies (since we have a dog) and saw that "fish" was included in the definition along with a big FINE for undisclosed items. :eek: Well, I forgot to mention the aquarium to the guy because I don't consider it as a 'pet', but rather a water garden. Anyway, I emailed him to see if it would be okay and didn't hear back for two days! So, I'm thinking he's gonna tell me "No way! No water in the house!!" :( Well, I finally call him and he said it was no big deal, to go ahead and set it up. WHEEE!!:D

So, everything is good to go. All our furniture/stuff will be delivered to the new house next Saturday (Nov 1) and I'll start setting up the tank right away. Now I just need to decide what to put in it. I literally have 10 foreground plants (C.willissi x lucens 'bronze') , two pieces of driftwood with assorted plants attached, and 1 round stone with Christmas moss. That leaves about 90% of my aquascape open to suggestions!!

Any ideas? (Keep in mind I will have very hard water.)

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