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Callatya
 
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The girl's got crabs!
Posts: 9662
Kudos: 5261
Registered: 16-Sep-2001
female australia au-newsouthwales
The time has come to get stuck into making this baby work It is stable and it is stocked and it is... well, a wee bit ugly.

I like the rocks, and I like the plants, butI'm not happy with the plant balance.

The substrate is just Sydney white sand (beach sand) and the rocks look to be granite, although I'm not certain.

I have duckweed and riccia floating, but the riccia has to go as it is not liking the competition and is moulting like crazy. down the bottom I have a rotala, a thin val, some weird running sword-like native, and a fern. Yes, I suck at plants.
I think java fern, blue stricta and wisteria would work well, but I'm unsure on the layout.

Here is the tank through it's various morphs.




Attached Image:


For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

Post InfoPosted 17-Jan-2008 07:38Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Report 
Callatya
 
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The girl's got crabs!
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Registered: 16-Sep-2001
female australia au-newsouthwales
Experimenting with the rocks. Does anyone know how force works with this? OH thinks it is spread all over the tank, but I feel that if it leans on a certain point, surely more is being applied at that point?

Attached Image:


For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

Post InfoPosted 17-Jan-2008 07:40Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
Callatya
 
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The girl's got crabs!
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Registered: 16-Sep-2001
female australia au-newsouthwales
EditedEdited by Callatya
How it is ATM. Well, in Nov anyway. It has a bit more plant in it, and the stocking has been rejigged. The two holding pens on the side are full of fry as there is nowhere for them to hide in the main tank.

I am happy with the rock placement, but the plants just look a bit... meh? I know I need more, but I want a plan before I go on a shopping binge.

I'd prefer things that are dense and fluffy rather than structural, only because it is a livebearer tank and I'd like to preserve some fry if possible.

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For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

Post InfoPosted 17-Jan-2008 07:42Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
Gone_Troppo
 
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australia au-northernterritory
Hi Calla

You don't mention what light or ferts you are using (or plan to use) on the tank. I assume from the two switches on the light fitting that you have a double tube fitting... so 2 x 36 w tubes... or a bit under 1.5 wpg ???
IME most "fluffy" plants seem to do better with slightly higher light levels than this, though there could be exceptions that I am yet to discover in my hunt for plants.

As far as choice and placement of plants... try having a play with THIS.
The link to this site was posted in the planted forum by another member some time ago & I've had a great time playing with various layouts for my tanks. (the plant list uses all sci names, which can be a bit of a pain - but it helps get you familiar with the names... I usually have another browser window open at the same time so I can search the names at the same time )

Good luck & have fun

G_T





Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.
Post InfoPosted 17-Jan-2008 10:08Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
fish patty
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female usa
I really like that tank! The sand looks great & also the rock placement. I know little about plants, but I think your guess on Wisteria is a good one. Also you might try hornwort. You can stick it in the back & anchor it under your rocks. It will grow up the back of your tank forming a natural background. It will also start creeping across the top of the tank since it is a fast grower. You can just pinch the extra off & throw it away. Right now I love the stuff cause I am just starting out with plants & hornwort is such an easy grower!
Post InfoPosted 17-Jan-2008 15:39Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Callatya
 
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The girl's got crabs!
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female australia au-newsouthwales
Hornwort! Duh! I hadn't even thought of it.

yes, there are 2x36w tubes (Aquaglo and Powerglo, though debating changing the latter to a Sunglo). I have been periodically adding Flourish but nothing much else. I have root tabs but I'm iffy about using them in sand. Once I get some more plants in, I'm umming and arring about DIY CO2 at a later date, but that'll depend on how things go.


I'm basically going for an improved version of my first tank. Better plants, better design, more fish, more fun. It is funny how you keep coming back to what brought you into the hobby to begin with. Old timers will remember the crap I copped for my piles of rocks in that old one, but I think I've made the bigger & better version a bit easier to look at
http://fishpics.shesapples.net/displayimage.php?album=16&pos=1

For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

Post InfoPosted 18-Jan-2008 04:00Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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male usa us-colorado
Hi Callatya,

From looking at the pictures (great looking tank by the
way) it must be around 55+ gallons of water. In this last
post of yours you mention that you might use DIY CO2 to
supplement the plants with Carbon.
Generally speaking 30 gallon tanks are about the largest
capacity tanks for successful DIY CO2 injection. Assuming
you are going to use the yeast/sugar method in a plastic
soda bottle, you will find that it will take at least two
and more probably, three generators to supply enough CO2
to make an impact on that tank. That's allot of work
mixing, cleaning, refreshing, and repairing leaks in the
hose connections.

You might give some consideration to weather or not you
are going to "need" it, and if so try experimenting with
a smaller tank to see just what CO2 injection does.
By that I mean set up a smaller tank, with the same number
of watts per gallon that you will have on the bigger one.
Plant it and see how the plants do without CO2, and then
add CO2 and see how they do then. If you see an appreciable
difference thus making it worth it, then you will have
done your "homework" and can just go ahead and purchase
a bottled system.

Low light plants will not show much difference between the
use of CO2 or no CO2. The use of CO2 seems to really make
a difference in medium and high light demand plants.

If you keep your light at 2 watts/gallon or less, and stick
with low and medium light demand plants, then they will
thrive without the use of CO2. If you are going to drive
the plants with more than 2 watts/gallon, then you will
have to supplement the tank with Carbon in some form.
At that point you have the choice of liquids such as
Sea Chem Excel, or the injection of CO2 gas. As big as that
tank is, I would not recommend the liquid as that gets
expensive over time. With gas injection, 99% of the expense
is the actual purchase of the system components. Refilling
the bottle should be around 10$ for a 5 pound bottle.

Yet another option might be the use of Eco Complete or one
of the timed release substrates.

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 19-Jan-2008 01:17Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Callatya
 
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The girl's got crabs!
Posts: 9662
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Registered: 16-Sep-2001
female australia au-newsouthwales
Adding the latest pics This one was pre-crabs, when the tank only had livebearers. I love the lace fern but it just doesn't multiply fast enough to actually fill the areas out.





Attached Image:


For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

Post InfoPosted 16-Sep-2008 19:10Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
Callatya
 
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Moderator
The girl's got crabs!
Posts: 9662
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Registered: 16-Sep-2001
female australia au-newsouthwales
And about 2 days ago - the crabs have pretty much obliterated the lace ferms and the wisteria. They don't eat it or even try to destroy it. They DO try and shift it by grabbing the base and pushing and they do climb up them to hang out. It isn't happy for plants.

I have a major algae problem again. There really is nowhere in the house away from a window, this is as good as it gets. Still, it isn't ugly algae, providing I keep on top of things. In fact, I removed the green algae on the back wall a month or so ago and people who came to visit spotted it straight away and wanted it back So it is in the process of growing back. The fry and crabs love it anyway, and the platies just graze all day long.

I'm having trouble getting the height I need. With the java fern (it isn't planted, just bunched and weighted so it is easily shifted) what do you think would work? I'm seriously considering hornwort even though it is a bit the wrong shape, because I can't think of anything much else without a fleshy (crushable) stem.

Attached Image:


For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

Post InfoPosted 16-Sep-2008 19:22Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
Babelfish
 
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Small Fry with Ketchup
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female australia us-maryland
I really like the way it looks now, that's the tank I want!

(Can I have it, pweeeeese?)

I do see what you mean about height though, I think that there are different types of java fern though, cause I had some that was much taller than other bunches in the tank. It may have just been different ways it was grown before it got to my tank. I think I'd read somewhere about growing the plants out of the water allowed them to grow taller rather than wider Not sure, just a half remembering from a skimming of an article.

Is driftwood a no go in this tank? I'm thinking a piece with java attached to it might give you the height you want. If you're still um-ing and ah-ing over co2, that may also drive the java to grow taller. All I remember is that I had a pretty good sized specimen before I had to move. Don't even know what happened to it It had been in a 20 on a DIY CO2.
If doing DIY CO2 on the bigger tank is proving too much hassle, you could try running it on a smaller tank, growing the plants up in there and then moving them to the larger tank.

^_^

Post InfoPosted 25-Sep-2008 01:51Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Wingsdlc
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What is this?
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male usa
Your tank is looking quite nice. It sure has come a long way. If you would like more hight from the ferns you could attach them to something taller. Fishing line or cotton thread works well. Another plant you might try is anubias. There are some types that do grow taller.



55G Planted tank thread
19G Container Pond
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Post InfoPosted 25-Sep-2008 22:55Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
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