Brackish plant project

pinkfloydpuffer

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I've begun my brackish plant project, to try to give my puffers some real plants instead of those cheesy plastic ones ;D
It probably wouldn't be such a big deal except that I do not have a green thumb. I'm struggling to keep my plants alive in freshwater, lol.

Some background: my 20 gallon brackish tank came with a full hood with a 15W fixture. It's home to two little green spotted puffers, and the tank will be upgraded to at least a 55 later, and used for a single figure 8 puffer when that time comes.

So here's my progress so far:
I got a glass top to replace the hood.
I got a double fixture that supports two 20W bulbs at Home Depot.
I took out a bit of my hornwort that wasn't doing so hot from my betta tank, and put it in a bucket. I'm slowly adding in some water from the brackish tank to acclimate the plant to the salinity. I figure that since the plant was gonna die soon anyways, might as well use it as my test run.

My to do list:
Get some sheet aluminum to make "legs" for the light fixture to stand on.
Get more plants (quite excited about this one, although it won't be for a while)
Make a CO2 system. I've found quite a few ways to do this on this site and others. Does anyone have any experience on which is the best?
 
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pinkfloydpuffer

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Well, the hornwort is definitely dead now. But it was pretty much on it's deathbed when I started. I think I'm just going to try java moss and fern in the tank. I haven't killed those plants yet, lol!
 
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pinkfloydpuffer

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I got the fixture all set up today. I drilled on some pieces of spray-painted aluminum and plexiglass that was laying around. But now that I've plugged my lights in, I notice that they are very pink. They're 2700K, made for plants and aquariums... I'm not sure if I should exchange them for a different bulb, or use the reddish ones. I don't really like how it looks though. :-\ What do you all think?
 
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pinkfloydpuffer

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Well, I traded in the lights and got some new ones. These ones are more yellowy. Still not the most beautiful, but it's ok, whatever.
I also got myself 4 java fern plants. I've put them into a bucket of water with some fertilizer, and I'm going to slowly up the salinity over about a week or so. Hope it works!
 
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pinkfloydpuffer

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The plants are in the tank! I have 4 java ferns, each with from 4-8 leaves, and a clump of java moss. I'm considering adding anacharis to get some height for the background.

To acclimate, I put the plants in a bucket under my desk lamp and put in some fertilizer. I made up a few cups of very salty water, and slowly added it in over a few days.
 
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pinkfloydpuffer

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My tank is doing well. I have java fern, java moss, and anacharis in there. I'm also seeing some spot algae developing (the bright green stuff). I hope that's better than the ugly brown stuff...
 
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pinkfloydpuffer

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Here's what the tank looks like today...
It's a bit bare towards the top, but my puffs don't seem to mind yet.
The green algae is all over everything. I'm getting some Excel, hopefully that will help.
 

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I am so glad that so far this experiment is a success

If my old FW tank was big enough i would get a puffer. They are so cool
 
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