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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Mr T survived the test and is back with his mates:

Repaired crack, I used the lid that came with the tank. You cant see the crack in this shot, but it gives you an idea of what i did.

Current scape, (does the back drop get Tex gals approval? I may just go and buy a peice of black cardboard)

comments ideas ?

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930 Posts
You could use material. Thus you could have any color you wanted. Just have to tape it to something stif, for it won't stay taped to the tank.

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Discussion Starter · #65 · (Edited)
Came home today and found 3 packages on my door step:)

I will let the pics tell the story. but first tank specs

Tank - 60 long 30 wide about 36 high (cm) 20gallons (75L)
Lighting - 2x 24watt HO t5 globes 6700k and one 20watt t8 unknown Kelvin (thinking 11-18thousand ?)
Filtration - 2 HOB filters
co2 - Pressurized
substrate - DIY, Layer of gravel, layer of pot n peat, capped with gravel and laterite everywhere:mad:
ferts - PPS-PRO method with excel every 2nd day and tabs under the larger plants.

chain sword narrow
chain sword broad
dworf blyxa
corkscrew val
hansons nardoo

none atm, cherries in a couple of weeks



Planted every plantlet individually, with some left over for my communal tank.

Filled it up with air hose, took a few hours.


Left side (blyxa)

Banana lilly(2) , was really attracted to this plant, cant wait for the stems to start heading towards the surface

Narrow chain sword (3) hoping it will spread everywhere, the broad ones are up the back, you cant really see them.

gotta love the co2

Im not 100% happy with all the plants placement so over the next few days i will move a couple around, particuarly the broad chain swords.
It will be better once the vals grow taller to add some height to the tank.

Eheim cannister filter is High up on my priority list.

comments, ideas?

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123 Posts
Good start! It can be hard at first, but try to imagine how you want each plant to be seen when it has had a chance to grow out. I also would suggest planting heavier from the start, even if just using some fast growers to suck up extra nutrients and stabilize the tank. I made the mistake my first run planting too lightly and it just ended up unstable and algae ridden.

As far as the current scape goes, I'd suggest putting a focal plant on the right side near the rock wall. Also consider some stem plants of different shapes to break up the similarly shaped plants you have already.

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8,540 Posts
How exciting that you have your tank up and running! Kudo's to Mr. T and his mates for a job well done. :D I like what you've done so far. Is your idea to kind of make a scape around your DW going down from the left? I like it. I do think you need more plants.

...about the background.... perhaps some black foam behind it might be nice....:rolleyes: Material on a think acrylic piece like Dawntwister suggested works well too. I just have that plastic roll stuff you get at Petsmart on mine. I just got black foam and felt to try on some of my smaller ones. I'm thinking that I want a "flat" black look instead of shiny. Less glare and mirror effect. It's my little experiment.

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140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #69 · (Edited)
Thanks for the replys, Nothing is really scaped at the moment, I am thinking of taking out the rocks and wood and just letting everything grow, This week i might get some more stem plants. (thin val ?)

Thanks for the tips, unfortunately some plants arrived with algae, so hoping that wont give it a head start.

My idea for this tank is like what tex gal said, moving down from the driftwood, I would like the blyxa to be the focal point, and use the curvature of the wood to direct your sight to the future lawn.
as for background a mixture of stem plants, mainly val and some other like you suggested to break it up a little.

Yes it is pressurized co2.

So what do you think, take out the hardscape and just let everything settle in grow and fill out, then scape it?

Here is a shot of Mr T. Back with the boys.


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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
Performed the "de-scape" today, whats left is just plants growing here and there.
so, personal updates:
Blyxa, 3 or 4 pecies, each hanging in there, growing new roots. They arrived as one peice tied together, but fell apart.

Banana lilly, Going strong! the one that was tucked away behind the the wood as developed some nice roots and is so well planted in the gravel i just left it there, The 2nd isnt too far behind.

Vals, growing roots, also hanging in there, stopped dosing excel about 4 days ago and i already see improvements,

the chain swords, ohhh boyy.. Well one broad leafed one fell apart in my hand so i didnt dare touch the other 2, they are melting away hopefully will perk up again soon.
as for the narrows, not much has changed since i received them, also slowly melting away.

the hansons nardoo, is spreading hair algea everywhere, i might even rip it out soon, It has been a real disappointment.

I will get some thin val, and some different leafy type stems in the next few days.

Oh i threw this plant in there, any ID on it, I dont think its fully aquatic.

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140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #71 · (Edited)
I threw in 3 stem plants 5 days ago, thin val, pink baby tears and scarlet ludwigia, all of which are doing well.

I did a water test today, the first real one as i only just got the test, do the results appear normal for a 40 day old tank

PH: 7
Kh: 7dkh (co2 is a little low)
Ammonia: between 0.5 and 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 30ppm

Should i add some fish to help complete the cycle? 6 or so mature guppy fry maybe?

Is it shrimp safe yet?

As for plants, all are going well. Banana lily's have leaves at the surface now.
Blyxa has roots coming out everywhere and flower buds? see pic please.
corkscrew vals keep sending out runners, have 3 new plants.
Broad chain sword has sent out a runner which has sprouted 2 new plants (i guess they replace the 2 i lost) and the narrow chain swords are doing well.
And the random plant i through in there has not changed much. still yet to id that aswell.

Blyxa suspected flower bud? can anyone confirm that please?


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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
I bought 3 shrimp yesterday.
I dont know what species they are.
here are a couple shots of them, any ideas? You might want to view the entire image to get a better look.

also here is an fts from 2 weeks ago and now, the ludwigia has dropped all of its old leaves:confused:

This guy rode the snail all the way to the surface.

About 2 weeks ago

Now, the rotala is growing well as you can see, as is the broad chain sword, worried about the ludwigia.

The broad chain growth.
little blury

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
The scape is back in action, a little different to the original idea.

I completely tore down the tank and even managed to find the 3 riffles, very surprised at that.
I went to the lfs and got more plants and ordered 2 SAE's, the ottos were to expensive.

I had around 30 cherries arrive today, and some free plants.
very happy with them, has been a long wait!! barely slept last night....

came with 2 very berried girls.

I hope all the youngins turn out as good as these grandmas


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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
cheers fooforee.

here is a current fts, as you can see im lacking a fore ground, im hoping the think and broad chainswords will cover most of the gravel in time, they are sending out runner.

how do you like the focal point? should look better once the blyxa gets bushier...

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Thought I would do an update as I would like some points of view.

The foreground is almost complete, just a small amount up close to the glass, but its not how i imagined it, maybe it needs to get denser.
I am considering ripping it out and start again with hair grass.Opinions?
Also the gravel is plagues with debris, BGA (?) and hair algae.

Also the blyxa has grown quite considerably and has pretty much covered the wood, so I am starting to lose the focus point, so I am thinking of putting a big anubia plant on it, one that flowers. Opinions and species suggestions please?

Any how here are some shots.

compare this shot with the one higher up on the page and you can see how the wood has disappeared behind the blyxa.

This shot is back when i first put the wood back in. looks pretty sad.

This was it earlier today in need of a trim. almost exactly 1 month after after the shot above. Vals have sent out runners and trimming as encouraged branching of the rotalas so now i have a nice thick backdrop which im happy with, but i need it to grow directly behind driftwood to cover filter intake, but I am unable to reach the soil so I cant put anything there until i get proper tweezers.

This is it today after its 2nd (fortnightly) major trim, some of the vals are about 4 foot long. Im hoping after i get a second light the rotalas will start to reddein up a bit more, atm they only turn red at the surface of the water.

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Tank looks great!!

What happened to the Ludwiga? I found them to be nitrogen hogs.

I usually add a little "alkalinity down" to it, to try and even out the difference. I dont know what your water is in the US, but ours is about 7.5
I have 8.2 out of the tap. In time it decreases. The chemicals that affected alkalinity can cause problems.
Also, they are 2 10,000k light bulbs, is it worth getting 1 or 2 6500k ones, or should i just see how the plants go on these.
Was just wondering if you stuck with the 10,000k bulbs? I have a 20w 18,000 over 29 gallon tank and love it. Next will be the addition of 65 w 10,000k if I don't buy a T5 light system.
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