First Planted Tank - 180l/45g

  • #1
Plants arrived yesterday so today was the day.

Tank: Juwel Rio 180 - 100x41x50
Lighting: Standard Juwel Rio
Filter: Standard Bioflow Internal
Media: 2L of Seachem Matrix, foams and wool
Substrate: ADA Power Sand Special, ADA Amazonia and Sand
Hardscape: Driftwood and Bluestone (Type of basalt)
Plants include;
Anubias nana
Trident Java Fern
Narrow Leaf Java Fern
Spiky Moss

Micranthemum Monte Carlo
Staurogyne repens
Blyxa japonica

Hygrophila polysperma
Hygrophila lancea (sp. Araguaia)
Bacopa monnieri
Syngonanthus sp. Belem
Rotala sp. Green
Rotala sp. Colorata

Didn’t quite get the layout of stems how I wanted, the thought process was for a mixed jungle look. Will see what grows, what doesn’t, what does well and alter as necessary.

Will update as I cycle over the next few weeks, hopefully cloudy water clears up over night, running some extra filter wool in the top of the internal. Driftwood still being weighted down also hopefully can remove those rocks in a week or two.


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Aqua 59
  • #2
Your tank looks great! Hope everything goes well-good luck!
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  • #3

Cloudy still today but plants a looking a bit more perky. Did some testing also which may still be a bit off as I only dosed with prime to dechlorinate yesterday. I also decided to use stability for the first week to help assist in building beneficial bacteria.

PH: 6.4
Ammonia: 2ppm
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10-20ppm

Wasn’t expecting nitrate to show up yet but putting it down to the use of seachem prime and stability either that or I messed up testing (also a first time).

I’ve kept fish before but never really tested anything more than PH. Never had a proper planted tank with the exception of a bit of Java moss and a bunch of whatever random stem plants looked good at the time. That was almost 20 years ago though.


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  • #4
Day 4

PH: 6
Ammonia: 4ppm
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 40ppm

30% water change following testing
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  • #5
Day 6
PH: 6
Ammonia: 2ppm
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20ppm

Still looking a bit cloudy assuming due to bacteria blooms


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  • #6
that looks so good!!! how do you attach the plants to the wood?
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  • #7
Anubias is just pushed into cracks along with half of the Java fern. The other half of Java fern and the spikey moss is a few small dabs of superglue gel
  • #8
Anubias is just pushed into cracks along with half of the Java fern. The other half of Java fern and the spikey moss is a few small dabs of superglue gel
  • #9
That looks awesome.
What type of rock is that?
  • #10
ooooh I love it!!!!!!
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  • #11
The rock is called Bluestone in Australia and is a type of basalt I believe
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  • #12

8A91A333-F9A2-4377-85E6-3AB5CCA0C0B2.jpeg Still cycling, at the end of week 2 no nitrites showing yet. All other levels still consistent, testing ammonia and nitrite daily.

PH 6 ( tap water is only 6.6-6.8)
Ammonia 2ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 10-20ppm ( only tested a couple of times)
Temp 26-27c

Added a surface skimmer to up the flow a bit which has helped a lot along with keeping the surface nice and clear.

Some algae signs, little bit of BBA on Java fern and anubias (assuming imported) some signs of green/brown string/thread along with light green fuzz on some plant leaves. Assuming the tank is just doing it’s thing until things balance out. Trying not to panic anyway
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  • #13

4637B0FA-EE6D-4D60-9DB6-EA8380D848DF.jpeg Day 21
  • #14
Beautiful scape!
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  • #15

F1D14800-55A9-42F0-917E-E6C3A1986E7F.jpeg So cycle completed around day 40. Today I picked up a couple of full size bunches of hygrophila and what was sold as narrow ludwigia (however I think it’s actually repens or a cross with repens? Thoughts?) as I wanted instant height towards the right hand side of the tank. Also school of black neons added and some Caridina Longirostris.

Plan for panda corydoras for bottom level, what other livestock should I look at? Prefer a deeper body tetra or other South American fish.
  • #16
Your tank looks great!
  • #18
Woah, such a pretty tank. Awesome scape you got going there!
  • #20
Beautiful tank! I love the rocks you've chosen, those are quite unusual colours for rocks and sand but the scape looks wonderful!
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