Finally got water in my 29 gallon - can't resist taking a pic

Leighgenevera

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OK so this started with me thinking "hey working in this new world with COVID is super stressful, and I have a few extra bucks....I think I will start a new tank to distract me. " Well, it led to ALOT of frustration, $$$ and things going wrong before I even put a drop of water in this tank LOL. But sitting here tonight, looking at my beautiful tank (IMO), it's so worth it!

Some fun obstacles along the way: I quickly found out the table I wanted to place this tank on would not be strong enough when I put the sand and rock in and noticed a slight bowing. Uh oh, not good.

So 2 weeks later and a ton of Google searches resulting in overpriced particle board stands that did not appeal to me, my amazing hubby and stepfather built me a stand. After my first adventure in staining and using poly, I have a pretty sweet stand, IMO. It could've used another coat of poly, but I was over it between the drying time between each and already waiting several weeks to even get to this point.

So today I started to fill the tank and I was using gallon jugs pouring it over a bowl so the sand would not be disturbed and, a few gallons in, my husband says "why don't we switch to the garden hose?" Sure, why not? Well, he turns on the water and earwigs flow out of the hose into my tank and I freak out. Some alive, some dead, I use a net and tweezers to get them out. That was a fun surprise!

I swear, between Petco and Petsmart, I've done online pickup at least 6 times in the past month trying to get everything I need to start this tank. And spent more than I want to admit.

But I found a great resource in this forum and I am very grateful for all of the adivce offered so willingly.

So I couldn't resist posting a pic tonight, even though the bubbles have not settled yet.

Thank you everyone for walking me through this journey!

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Gel0city

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Glad that you kept going even though the mistakes and hardships. Many beginners just buy their tank, buy fish, fish is dead because of uncycled tank, then quit the hobby. Your tank looks amazing.
 

RollaPear

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That Madagascar lace looks epic. I'd bring it forward and make it a centre piece. Looks like you're off to a great start, congrats.
 
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Leighgenevera

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Thank you everyone! My father in law teaches high school shop class. He is very talented and I am very thankful that he built this stand for me :)

What a difference a few days makes! My cryptocoryne wendtii red is melting away, but I expected that...hoping it will recover. My anacharis is looking bad too :( My wood is doing the fuzzy white bacteria bloom thing which looks super gross but is intriguing at the same time.

The Madagascar lace has what looks like brown algae and some stringy white things (I'm assuming more of the bacteria blooms). Hoping I can keep that plant alive. The girl at the store said it was easy to grow, does well in most water conditions and that she would rather sell me 1 really good plant for $12 instead of 2 not so great plants for $6 each. I should have Googled it. Oh well, I did my research now and will do my best to keep it alive.

The only thing that still looks good is my java fern windelov. But I'm reminding myself to be patient!!

My ultimate plan for stocking is a school of tetras, some cory catfish, a blue gourami, a small school of cherry barbs, a pineapple sword tail that I saw at my LFS and thought was pretty. And I have been thinking about a bristlenose pleco possibly. Or possibly a peacock gudgeon.
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Leighgenevera

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AquaEmptiness said:
Out of curiosity: What's the light like and what's the temperature?
Temp is 74.5 degrees. I am using a NICREW RGB Plus 30" light. Says it is 1130 lm and 22W and said it is good for mid to low light plants. I only had it on for a few hours on day 1 because the planting wasn't done until the afternoon, then I had it on max brightness for 8 hours on day 2 and 9 hours on day 3, then I used the 24/7 feature for 2 days which does a reddish sunrise/sunset thing and is only on max brightness from 12pm-3pm then goes to all blue at night.
 
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Leighgenevera

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The anacharis is looking particularly bad this morning. Several pieces came out of the sand and are floating around looking very sad. There are dead leaves floating throughout the tank. When I touched one floating plant, leaves just fell off immediately :( I dosed Seachem Flourish when I planted them over the weekend and used Seachem root tabs. The photo makes them look a little greener than they are in real life, but it could be the tannins in the water that I'm seeing. Really hoping I don't lose them all.
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AquaEmptiness

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Well, in my experience the main 3 things plants need are: Nutrients, Light, CO2 (as an extra perk). I wonder if there's too much competition for nutrients. The Java fern, growing slowly, will take longer to show symptoms, but the anacharis is fast growing (and invasive where I'm from), so the moment it runs out of nutrients, it goes down.

I think your light is enough. I've grown plants with cheap LEDs, so they should at least stay alive with a Nicrew.

Temp should be fine. I normally do a little hotter for everything tropical (78-80), but as low as 72 should still be comfortable.

So far, I'm inclined to say it's a nutrient deficiency.

EDIT: I'm still doing research. Because a week is very little time for plants to run out of nutrients, and you ARE fertilizing. It could also be a shock from change in environment.
 
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Leighgenevera

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I had the temp at 74.5 because I read the Madagascar Lace liked a max temp of 74. Do you think I could go hotter? I have a bottle of API leaf zone, I could add a dose if needed. If it is just shock do you have an idea of how long until I see some recovery? Sorry for all of the questions I did a bunch of research on these plants (except the lace) and thought I was going to have a good shot at success, or at the very least not have a tank full of dying plants in under a week :(
 

AquaEmptiness

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It seems like you did everything right. Hopefully they were emersed and are transitioning to being immersed. Please, keep us posted. I'm emotionally invested in your plants.
 

Utar

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Awesome stand and aquarium. Your father in law did a great job on the stand.
Most of us if not all have had setbacks in our aquarium adventures. Hopefully your plants will recover, but sorry I can't give you any advice there.

I remember two years ago after setting up my 29 gallon. I set back looking at it thinking to pretty for fish. lol I started out with several different species of plants. Which where all supposed to be beginner plants and easy to take care of.
Windelow Java Fern
Long Leaf Java Fern
Anubias
Amazon Sword

Out of these plants only two species remain, Anubias and Amazon Sword. The Amazon Swords which are rooted plants took of growing like crazy. The Anubias tied to a large piece of lava rock is still there but really didn't do much except grow a great root structure. But the rest wilted and died never to return.
 
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Leighgenevera

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AquaEmptiness said:
It seems like you did everything right. Hopefully they were emersed and are transitioning to being immersed. Please, keep us posted. I'm emotionally invested in your plants.
Thank you I am too but I think the anacharis may be done for. I grabbed a floating piece off the top and it disintegrated :(

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Utar said:
Awesome stand and aquarium. Your father in law did a great job on the stand.
Most of us if not all have had setbacks in our aquarium adventures. Hopefully your plants will recover, but sorry I can't give you any advice there.

I remember two years ago after setting up my 29 gallon. I set back looking at it thinking to pretty for fish. lol I started out with several different species of plants. Which where all supposed to be beginner plants and easy to take care of.
Windelow Java Fern
Long Leaf Java Fern
Anubias
Amazon Sword

Out of these plants only two species remain, Anubias and Amazon Sword. The Amazon Swords which are rooted plants took of growing like crazy. The Anubias tied to a large piece of lava rock is still there but really didn't do much except grow a great root structure. But the rest wilted and died never to return.
Thank you it's nice to hear that I am not alone in this plant failure!!
 
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Leighgenevera

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I pulled the anacharis. Stems continued to uproot and get tangled in the wood and other plants. It was a mess and the leaves got everywhere and turned to mush. I got most of it out after about 30 minutes skimming with a net. The leaves of the lace are breaking down. I trimmed the cryptocoryne and there are a few younger leaves left that look OK. The fern is looking OK still, a little bit of blackish brownish spots but not much. I did another dose of Flourish and added a little bit of leaf zone. My wood is still giving off alot of tannins and the bacteria blooms are grayish and don't look as robust as they did before. Sigh.

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Utar

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I am going to step out on a limb here and say that the Flourish is not working for you. It seems you keep using it and your plants keep dying off. Why don't you try something different, never know it might help. Thrive is a good choice, order it through amazon.
I found an image that shows how to tell what kind off nutrient a plant is deficient in.
It may help you understand what nutrients are needed so you can possibly pick the right fertilizer. Nutrients contained in a fertilizer should be listed either on the package or in the description of the fertilizer.
Thrive on Amazon

 
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Leighgenevera

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Utar said:
I am going to step out on a limb here and say that the Flourish is not working for you. It seems you keep using it and your plants keep dying off. Why don't you try something different, never know it might help. Thrive is a good choice, order it through amazon.
I found an image that shows how to tell what kind off nutrient a plant is deficient in.
It may help you understand what nutrients are needed so you can possibly pick the right fertilizer. Nutrients contained in a fertilizer should be listed either on the package or in the description of the fertilizer.
Thrive on Amazon

Thank you for the picture link, that is very helpful. I have read good things about Thrive and will consider switching over.
 

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