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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me know what you think, still a little cloudy from the substrate but another 24hours and it should be clear.

Details later on re Plant List, Lighting, Size, Filtration etc.



Blair.
 

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Looks good I've been wanting to get some real plants for some of my tanks just have to figure out the best place to get them. Good luck :thumb:
 

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Blair, great tank as always, but what size is it? I am just trying to get an idea of what it will look like. I know you said you will put in the plant list later, but what is that floating up there? Hornwort?

Also, what kind of substrate are you using?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks!

I've done a few planted tanks now but this is one I really wanted to be a culmination of what I've learnt from the tanks before it and I really wanted to do something a bit more special - I wake up and go to sleep with this tank at the foot of my bed, so it had better look good :lol:.

Now obviously everything will fill out, I have planted with taller plants at the back and sides, with mid-ground plants and carpet type plants scattered along the front. Between these I have placed other, taller, broad leafed plants so that, once established, they will sit above the carpet of leaves in the forground.

I'll have to get better pics, so you can see each part of the tank from more of an overview, hopefully with this I can show you in better detail what I have done and what I aim to achieve. You have to realise that this tank is young so the big gap in the middle level of the tank will soon be filled ;).

Substrate:
A fine grained sand, I've had lots of success with planted tanks using plain old sand, with this tank I have mixed in Red Sea's Substrate Enricher fertilization granules, so we will see how they perform.

Fertilizer:
Seachems Flourish Excel
Red Sea products - Substrate Enricher.

CO2 is not yet running but will be shortly.

Dimensions:
40"L x 16"W 20"H - approx 55 US Gallons.

Plants:
Most plants I split into the smaller groups, or seperate individuals and plant them this way, gives them better space and chance at rooting well.

The large floating plant is a Japanese Riccia, the smaller ones are Salvinia Ariculata

Back/Sides:
Hygrophila rosae Australis x4
Cyperus helferi x1
Echinodorus africanus x1


Mid:
Cryptocoryne wendtii Green x1
Eleocharis vivipara x2


Mid-to-front.
Echinodorus rubra x2
Anubias barteri Nana x2
Anubias heterophylla x2


Foreground:
Lilaeopsis novae - zelandiae x1
Ludwigia arcuata x3
Requires pruning to create carpet effect.

So a bit of a mix in terms of origins, but I had the vision of what I wanted and got the plants that suited that vision.

I think that's it for now, more pics tomorrow...

Thanks again,
Blair.
 

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Is the sig photo a harbinger that you'll put kribs in the tank, Blair?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
spqrzilla :lol: you caught me.

Actually it's the Taeniatus Dehane's fry that are going in here. :wink:

I've got some more photo's to upload to show the plant layout, some tank inhabitants etc...

andysgr, thanks for your input.
What you need to realise with this tank is that as you see it now is nothing how it will look once established. There are taller plants at the back but at the moment they are shorter, lol - If you look at my species list and do some research on the plants I've used in regards to how they grow up, what sizes they attain and leaf spread, then you will see that a few months down the line the back will be very tall with plants ;).

I don't want a quick fix by putting older taller plants in to achieve the result NOW, as this goes against what I am doing, which is giving all of the plants an equal chance and encouraging them to compete with one another to climb towards the light. In doing so I hope to achieve a far more natural tank, rather than a tank that has clearly defined planted sections of xxxx here, xxxx there I want the plants to find their space amidst each other as they would in nature.

In other words - I could just fill the gap with taller plants now, but I will lose the effect of natural competition. :)

Pics up shortly...

Blair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Click to enlarge:

Yasuhikotakia splendida x4:






Stiphodon elegans x2:






Aplocheilichthys normani x15:




Japanese Riccia:


The tank today - a lot clearer:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks!

There are actually quite a few pieces of driftwood in there :lol: I've tried to avoid anything too big as I wanted to create a larger feel to the tank, hence why I've gone for smaller growing tankmates and more of a scattered driftwood look. I want to do another tank where I have a large focal piece and work around that, but I wanted this one to be more about the plants with driftwood throughout to enhance that....

The main piece you see in the middle runs right the way from left to right and then there are smaller, shaped pieces placed between the plants. I've planted it so there are plants coming out from under the main piece. I've also attached some riccia to the "branches" of the main piece now, which draws more attention to it.

It is hard to really get a sense of what this tank looks like from the picture, there is good depth and a lot more to it than you might think.

Here's a video, might help show the tank a bit more :). The last 15 seconds or so show the tank in a tracking shot. As I've said you also need to take into account that these plants are going to fill out.

I appreciate the input.

http://s100.photobucket.com/albums/m15/ ... FryTan.flv

Blair.
 

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WOW, that's super sweet looking!

I must admit i already snuck in your photobucket ealier and got a peek. he he he.

Those babies sure are gonna be in heaven. I also think it's really neat to set up a grow out tank like that. Mine all have/had bare bottoms and nothing in them, must be neat to enjoy a tank even it's just for fry. ;)

Great job! I can't wait to see it when the plants fill in!
 

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nice job man, it looks great! I've always wanted to do a planted tank, I just don't have the room for another tank in my room right now. I could probably wedge one somewhere else in the house, but I'm never out and about past my room since I live with 4 other guys. I coudl proably do the research and change my 55gal in my room over, but I think my Severum would give the plants **** from what I've read. He's trying to munch one a fake plant right now and I JUST fed the tank...

one day...one day
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks fotb!

:lol: I don't mind that you already went in my photobucket, or at least I'm not complaining anyway, not now that your main man has a shaved head ;). lol.

It is nice to give them a tank like this, the urge, of course, is to stock it with permanent residents of a mixed species, rather than filling it up with all of the same. As I'm sure you know, it's not easy - you set up a tank like this and suddenly the LFS has a bunch of rare fish in that would be perfect and look stunning in it. Grrr, lead me from temptation :lol:.

But I just think how small the fry are, how much they love their current tank, then I look at this tank and just think, man I wish I was one of those fish. That's what I want to do for them, they are my little guys after all :D. It should be heaven for them but they still have a week or two to wait as I want the plants to really settle in before I unleash them. Although they aren't major burrowers they do have a tendancy to re-scape your work into something that's more suited to them, apparently the fact that I spent two days on it means nothing to them :roll:. Haha.

cody thanks for the kind words!
I didn't have room for this tank, yup, I got rid of more furniture (ahem). It was a hoot talking my partner into it, mostly involving "Oh dear God not another one" and "it's fine, I NEEEEED it!!!".

Eventually she left, so I got busy and took apart a cabinet, totally moved it, got a friend, picked up the tank and got it on the stand. Hehehe. Well she didn't complain once she saw it and was more than eager to come out with me to look for my plants.

I know, I'm terrible, but I really do believe that furniture is pointless, it doesn't do anything, why have inanimate objects when they can so easily be replaced by animated ones ;).

Now we can lie in bed and watch the fish until we drift off (lights on timers) and I have to say being woken up by the light from this tank in the morning is awesome, puts me in a much more relaxed mood waking up to see something natural and I watch it until my eyes can actually focus....

Re Severums and plants, as you've seen, kind of a no-no. My Gold Sev was great with plants on the whole, he eat the heck outta my salvinia natans (floating plants nice tender dangling roots) and also anything remotely soft. Amazon swords/other swords untouched, as was Java fern (contains mild toxin which deters fish), Hygrophila did well, as did Anubias sp. On the whole though it's not worth the money and if he doesn't eat it he'll just yank it out and that's a PITA in itself.... Moss balls, rocks and driftwood are what I keep my Rotkiel with. Noooo plants for him to eat and I'd never release him into this tank, oh man, destruction.

Blair.
 

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Trust me, I haven't ruled out the idea of moving furnature. I just don't have much more I can move. I'm down to a dresser serving triple as my private, top shelf bar and night stand, my desk that is just big enough to hold the computer and have home work space, my 4' South American tank and my night stand holding the cage for my green cheek conure that I've affectionately dubbed "little s%!t" (he's chewing on the top of my keyboard as I type :x :p ). Oh, I guess I have a bed too. I coudl always ditch the queen bed and go with a twin sized bed, but I don't think my g/f would appreciate that. She's already a little preturbed that I took 'her space' for my bird cage.

I may get a small tank like a 12 gal eclipse and work a planted set up in it. That will give me an excuse to pull the dremel out and do some tank mods. I could keep a small 'wet pet' in it I guess.

I'll do some planted tank readings and see what I can discover. Maybe this will be the cure for my nano-reef itch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
:lol: well the bed switch could work, just do it real slyly and for the first few days put on a really thick quilt so it looks much wider, then gradually remove the stuffing until you're down to regular.

The change will be so gradual she wont notice. :lol:

No good reason why you can't have a 12 gallon planted. This was my first attempt at a planted tank - 10 gallons:


An older pic of my 15 gallon planted, excuse the bits in there its my pairs breeding tank so I don't worry so much about it's appearance just water quality.


My Bolivian Ram tank:


Then obviously the latest planted tank:


So that's my timeline from start to end (well present, it's never the end lol.)

I think you should go for it!!!! More pics up later.

Blair.
 

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that's great work! I think I will do this as soon as I get cash flowing from my new job. I wait tables so it should come fast once training is done and over with. I'll get with you through PMs about stocking and tips if you don't mind. I have to run to work now. I just got on to make sure the internet didn't go away while I was sleeping :lol:
 

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Heeey Blair,

WOW,...nice looking tank!!!! Good job Blair and looks good already!!! As mentioned earlier I also had the impression that the pieces driftwood were a bit small but after watching the video It's just perfect! And Blair,....one of my favorites,.....getting cold shivers from PF :wink: I'm very curious how it will look like at abouth 3 months and the plants are grown a bit. Did you cut back the roots befor planting them? That helps to develop a new strong root system. Ooh and Blair,...this is the tank were you were talking abouth a week ago with the new stand? Like to see that to :)

Great job Blair :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hehe, I thought you'd appreciate the Floyd track there Ruurd ;).

Man the plants in this thing are growing like there's no tomorrow. Good old Red Sea products and CO2 really do the trick. Some of the faster growing plants have thrown out an extra 2 - 4 nodes in the past two days!!!!!! Crazy huh. Even the slower growing plants are starting to take off, it won't be long and I'll be doing the first prune-back.

To answer your question, yes I do cut the roots back a little, but not much - with these I split a lot of them up from the bunches and whilst I do this I take some roots off. There are already roots poking out all over the place lol, spreading themselves out and starting to creep to other places. Good old carpet plants :).

This tank is on a stand but not my DIY one, I am yet to start this and didn't want to do it on a larger tank for my first go - the stand I build is going to be for one of the tanks in my lounge - I'm STILL waiting for a break in the weather and for some free time - I've been driving all over the country these last few days sorting things out. Rest assured that when I do go about the stand I will get photo's up and keep you informed, even if it does turn out to be horrendous :lol:. But yes this tank I just had to get up and running as soon as possible due to the fry growing at a phenominal rate and needing to be moved before I come to amsterdam.

Thanks again Ruurd! You Dutch should be the masters at these planted aquaria by now (generalisation lol) so any positives from our Dutch Gardener friends is a major plus in my eyes ;).

Blair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just to compare.

Tank 5 days ago, then today (excuse the reflection):



So that's only 5 days growth, you'll notice the foreground plants have filled out and the taller plants at the back are really going for it! They're terrible pics and show you no depth or detail to the tank but it's purely so you can compare growth.

More pics:

Check out the new growth on the Hygrophila rosae Australis, comes out really red then turns a nice green as it matures. I'm a big fan of these plants, the leaves resemble oak leaves to me -


One of the many algae patrollers -


Thanks for looking!
 
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