Figured I'd Show Off My First Planted Tank

  • #1
Hello everyone, I've never been a member of a forum for fish tanks and none of my friends have ever kept fish tanks, so I've been enjoying the hobby solo for quite a while, around 17yrs to be exact. My list so far of long term tanks have been
30g with single angelfish (1st tank)
75g turtle tank
Turtles are nasty so they moved to an outdoor pool until I released them in a pond.
75g became a cichlid tank for which my friend gave me an albino Oscar he didn't want.
My convicts had babies constantly and everybody picked on the tiny oscar. A year later, he was a great white among nurse sharks. He was alone for many years until the husband of my gf's friend had a 300g aggressive tank pop a leak. He gave me a huge pacu, 7 tiger shovelnose catfish, a red tail, and some other cat. I donated all of them to a guy I knew who owned a pet store with a 1500g indoor pond. All but one tiger. He and my oscar fought constantly, so he ended up in 150 gallon tank by himself. He was pretty awesome and around 18" long within a year, but I needed to liquidate some of my hobby at the time. At that point, angel tank, oscar tank, 10 gallon fowlr, 75 gallon reef, 150 gallon catfish tank. He went to a new bigger home, my angelfish died at just over 10" tall and 7 yrs old, leaving me with the 75 gallon reef and a 12" oscar. A faulty surge protector caught fire and blew my reef tank one day. It put out the fire, but the house was trashed. The oscar (Logan) was fine thankfully. I moved and slowly built another reef tank. 75 with custom overflow, 55 gallon sump/fuge, 150lbs lr, 648w of vho/led, etc. Had it for around 7yrs and sold it because I was moving. In that year, my oscar died at 11 yrs old. My only tank left was a 75 gallon with 2 baby sliders I found at work. My new house has a sunroom, so I tiled it, installed a/c, and built a ~275g indoor pond with a waterfall for my turtles, which currently houses 4 turtles and around 300 fish (giant danios, platies, guppies).
Now I'm to my current obsession.
I found a 54g corner rank on Craigslist, which I had always wanted one, and I bought it for seahorses. After seeing the price for a chiller which I would need in south AL, I held off. My wife picked up a crown tail betta at Walmart and was keeping it in a bowl, which made me sad every time I cleaned it. I promised to set him up a tank for this past xmas. I painted the stand, built a matching canopy, and decided to try my hand with live plants. Have never had one aquarium plant except for in a refugium. It is now coming up on 2 months since the fish less cycle finished. Keeping all the filter media and driftwood in my pond for a week sped that up.
So here it is:
54g corner
45lbs fluorite
Beamworks DA 6500k 30w with timer
30w 6500k led flood
Lights are 8hrs a day
Cascade 1000 w purigen, floss, ceramic
Fluval surface skimmer
Koralia 240 nano
300w finnex heater with controller
1 CT Betta
13 neon tetras
6 Cory cats
1 clown pleco
Ghost shrimp
Orange sakura shrimp
Nerite snails
Apongeton ulvaceous
Money wort
Various swords
Staurogyne repens
Dwarf Sagittaria
Crypt balansae
Crypt undulata
Crypt wendtiI
Java fern
Windelov java
Anubias nana, congensis, barteri, coffeefolia
Moneywort and swords are 2ish months old, the rest is within the last month.
Dose flourish twice a week
Root tabs a month ago
PH is 6.6
Nitrates around 15
Temp is 79 F
Weekly 25% water change

Really expected the growth to be slower with no CO2. It is all doing well and the anubias, javas, and crypts pop out 1-2 leaves a week. Really pleased with it so far and stoked to see it grow. My only regrets are not using a black background and not doing a saltwater dip on the first java fern to prevent the **** snails that came with it.

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  • #2
Great very beautiful tank.
Jocelyn Adelman
  • #3
Beautiful! For the snails I "trapped" mine... popped some zucchinI in there on the gravel, waited for snails to come feed, quick trip to the garbage can, rinse and repeat took a few months but the tank is snail free! (Now to do it on my other tanks!)
I'd love to see some pictures of the pond if you have any, sounds amazing!
  • #4
Nice looking tank!! I wanted to do a live plant set but the cost..... I will work towards it in the future. You have given me even more desire with this tank
  • #5
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Thank you everyone.

Nice looking tank!! I wanted to do a live plant set but the cost..... I will work towards it in the future. You have given me even more desire with this tank
It was more expensive than I expected, but way less than a reef tank. I have around $100 just in plants and that fluorite was up there.

Beautiful! For the snails I "trapped" mine... popped some zucchinI in there on the gravel, waited for snails to come feed, quick trip to the garbage can, rinse and repeat took a few months but the tank is snail free! (Now to do it on my other tanks!)
I'd love to see some pictures of the pond if you have any, sounds amazing!
I will give that a try. I was planning on the salt shaker method, but wasn't sure what to put in it. So far I've just been pulling the big ones when I see them and yes, I have many pictures of the pond.
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  • #7
That pond is gorgeous! I love it
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thank you! It's my pride and joy. Even though it filters 1350gph, it still gets 100 gallon water changes every week. Turtles are messy
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Here is one of them basking. Had to sneak a shot since they jump down for food when I walk in.
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Jocelyn Adelman
  • #10
Love it!
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
I'd like some thoughts on why my planted tank declined rapidly around a month ago. I was using Flourish comprehensive and flourish root tabs. Everything was going very well and then within a few weeks, plants started dying. The anubias and Java ferns developed black spots and then holes. The swords went clear, crypts starting losing leaves, and the stem plants began rotting and floating up. I have spent every afternoon netting out dead leaf debris off the intakes and the surface. I replaced my 30w led flood with a Makersled light setup with 12 Cree XTE cool white leds and 6 warm white, all at 3W each on a sunrise/sunset timer running 8 hrs each day as well as the Beamworks 40w still running 7 hrs. I now use thrive nilocG ferts dosed twice a week, excel daily (tried it with no excel and no change except algae pops up), root tabs, 40% weekly wc, prime, and I feed fish small amounts every other day. Anubias are still alive, but look awful, swords have new leaves but nothing over 3" tall, all my temple compacta and moneywort have died. Java moss is exploding, crypts are coming back fine and Javas are coming back, but it seems like the swords, anubias, Sagittaria, and staurogyne are stunted. Fish are fine and my sakura shrimp are multiplying like crazy. I went from 5 to 150+ in just over a month. Algae is staying at a barely noticeable level. Tank params are still good except my nitrates hit 40-60 before a wc. Any idea why the swords and stem plants are tanking?
  • #12
Beautiful!!! What is the spiral plant in the back center of the tank? I love it! Please tell me it's an easy low light plant I can add to my list
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
It's an apongeton ulvaceous. Grows very fast with low light. It's a bulb though, so it needs a forced dormant period for a couple months each year. That one is just about through dormancy in a cupboard at the moment
Jocelyn Adelman
  • #14
Staurogene in my experience, while easy, is fussy to change... give it time. Same for the swords. Anubias being slow growing take time to show deficiencies, plus take time to heal.
Nitrates for now I wouldn't be so concerned with... a good way to check what is being used is to test nitrates daily for a week to see if you can find fluctuations.... it's possible you may be able to shut off the beamswork and dose the thrive once a week to see if that makes a difference in nitrates. I target 20-40 in my tanks, find that when they get to about 10 I start having issues.

Can you post a current picture?

Funny, when I was reading the first few sentences I was thinking nitrogen/phosphorus deficiencies from the description, then I read you had been using flourish which is low in these... fine for slow growing heavily fed tanks, not good for faster growing ones....
  • #15
Staurogyne is weird, I have the plant from the same package in 3 tanks. The only tank it likes is my 5 gal fish-less tank with no ferts but snail poop
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Thanks. That was what I was hoping to hear. I went from new leaves every day or so to maybe one a week now and it has been disheartening. Plus, I lost my fast growers so the tank just feels stagnant from day to day, although many of them look healthy. I picked up some wisteria a week ago and it has started to grow, so that's good.
I was dosing only flourish and tabs the first five months, but I changed to Thrive for the past month and a half. My nitrates are at 20 now, 2 days after a wc, but I also discovered during that water change that there was a lot of dead plant material and mulm under rocks and driftwood. Vacuumed it all really well so that might fix some that. If it rises again, I'll try cutting that light off and dosing less.
Here are some pictures. I moved some of the anubias under cover so they only get reflected light. The removal of my big ulvaceous coincided with the crash, so the back is empty. The wisteria will fill it in soon hopefully


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Jocelyn Adelman
  • #17
Can you post a picture of the lower anubias and a closer on of the crypt on the right?

Unless they were way worse, after 1.5 mo on thrive things should be looking better then that....

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