Planted 40 Breeder

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Shivermetimbers

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Updated tank shot 7/25/18
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Having been out of the aquarium hobby for quite a while and wanting to get back into it I decided to jump in with a 40 gallon, and to boot I wanted to make it a planted tank which I had never attempted before.

I picked up a Aqueon 40 gallon breeder, aqua clear 110 filter, Aqueon pro 150 watt heater and a Current USA Satellite freshwater led light.

Now, where was I going to put this? Looking at stands in store they all seemed a bit lacking. Some of the more sturdy options were lacking in the looks department, and the decent looking stands seemed to be very cheaply made. Last thing I wanted was 40 gallons of water on the floor. That meant busting out some tools and making my own stand. Using a basic and common plan which I modified slightly I made my stand. Made of 2x4, screws, beadboard veneer and a top made of 3/4" plywood it certainly seems up to the task of holding my tank up for some time to come.
IMG_20180327_173959982.jpg IMG_20180331_174636167.jpg
More to come, I will be updating as changes are made. Please feel free to comment, add ideas or suggestions, I'm still rather new to this so being on the feedback.
 
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Shivermetimbers

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Thanks, to be honest it wasn't all that hard to build and I had most of the lumber laying around. Only cost me $20 in new materials for the beadboard and a couple hours to make and paint it. Way more sturdy than anything for sale in the stores.

Build continued:
I knew I wanted to keep live plants after seeing so many awesome looking planted tanks online, fake plants just didn't seem like they were going to cut it...go big or go home right? I talked to the few people I knew keeping fish and none of them had real plants and said it's likely going to be a lot more work.

After doing some research and having an idea of fish I would like to keep I wanted to try a split type substrate with some normal stuff where I would be putting plants and also some sand substrate for either cories or loaches. I decided to go with some black aquarium sand up front with a retaining wall of sorts with fluorite over eco complete to the rear. I also picked up a couple pieces of driftwood, and some dragonstone to put in as hardscape along with some rocks (mostly granite) to use as my retaining wall.

To be continued, but this was how it looked just before it was first filled.
IMG_20180405_195945016_HDR.jpg
 
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Hunter1

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Curious what you used for a retaining wall!

I was thinking plastic cut to fit , using aquarium safe clear chalking to hold in place?

Look great.

My only issue with sand (which I now have in 4 tanks) is you have to be careful when refilling during water changes.
 
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Shivermetimbers

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I have seen builds online where they use plastic dividers to build up sections and keep substrate from shifting so i'm sure it would work. In my case, I just literally made a wall with stones. I put a thin layer of black sand over the entire tank bottom for the most part, then put my stones more or less where I wanted them, and then filled in to the front of the tank with more sand, and behind the rocks I used eco complete with some fluorite over it. As it mixes with planting and such I am not worried about it as I actually like the look of fluorite dark better but I grabbed the wrong bag when buying it. There are a few areas where some eco complete is mixing some with the fluorite and it doesn't bother me so far.

The tank changed a bit from the last photo above and now has been planted and has been rescaped some. So far for plants I have:
Java fern: both narrow leaf and lace (windelov)
Sword: Parviflorus (rosette)
Anubias: Congensis and Bbarteri I think as well as variegated petite
Crypt (lucens I think) it wasn't marked when I got it.

Hardscape is a mix of granite, quartz, dragonstone and 3 pieces of driftwood (2 Malaysian driftwood and 1 mopani).

My lacy fern is sprouting a ton of baby plants, I will likely be pulling these soon and planting as some are getting a decent size. Still looking for some more plants, something with some different shades of color and maybe some stems. I'm open to suggestions so feel free to comment.
20180422_210518.jpg


more to come
 
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Shivermetimbers

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starting to run into a diatom bloom. Wiped down the glass and scrubbed a few of the rocks with a small brush and tooth brush. Not sure if I am going to try and get any livestock which may help clean this, or just ride it out. Some people seem to not have this issue for very long, while others seem to have it hang around forever.

I also upped my lighting, I moved my initial current freshwater satellite to the front of the tank, and added another 36" satellite plus to the rear of the tank. I have it on some sort of custom light blend that looks decent to me and it's dimmed a bit so maybe 60-70% intensity.

I picked up a tissue culture buce which I tied and glued to a couple small rocks so I could eventually move them if needed to a good spot. However, the existing leaves almost all have melted/fell off. The rhizome still looks healthy so I am hoping they come back. The buce came with 3 small clumps a bit bigger than a quarter, and is "green" variety. Fingers crossed on this one.
 
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Shivermetimbers

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Update, over a month since my last post and added some more plants and livestock.
Current livestock:
5 peppered cory
1 Albino BN Pleco
8 Neon Tetra
3 Platy (all males, 1 green lantern that looks very blue, 2 sunburst)
1 Lyre-tail Molly
1 Dwarf Flame Gourami
1 Pearl Gourami
1 Female German Blue Ram
1 Male Gold Ram
Few ghost shrimp

I had 2 Oto's but they both died in the last couple days after having them just over a month. Not sure what happened, they were eating and very active when first put in, they did a great job cleaning the plants of diatoms, but last week or so they became more sluggish but still seemed to be eating. i hear horror stories of keeping these things alive due to how they are shipped, but figured since it was a month or so I may have been in the clear.

I have added a total of 12 ghost shrimp to the tank, but I know some small ones have ended up as snacks, but I can still find 2-3 each time I look for them without moving hardscape, so I know a few are in there.

My java ferns have still been making lots of baby plants, so every so often I will pull off a bunch and make a little clump and stick them somewhere. My sword also threw up a couple runners which I have planted 2 small baby swords, I have another that will need to be planted soon. I added some s repens to the foreground, not really expecting it to or trying to carpet it, just more plants for interest. I also added 5 sprigs of water wisteria and hygro (temple) kompacta.

I previously had a very pretty german blue ram (my avatar) which didn't last very long in my tank. The clerk at the store where I got it said that my tank was too new, and to wait at least 6 months - 1 year before trying rams. I think I just got a bad fish, as I have added my current rams over the past month and they have already spawned.
 

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Wow, I would be honored for someone to be inspired by this tank, feel free to copy and I'd like to see your version when done.

I'll get an updated tank shot soon as the last full tank shot is a few weeks back. Plants have been growing in more, and I am always on the look out for more plants and some more livestock.
 

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Updated tank shot. Been using thrive ferts usually 2 pumps at water change, so it's a low dose. Also have root tabs for root feeders. Have another baby sword ready to be planted. Think all my shrimp have turned into snacks so time to get another batch. View attachment 453487
I love your aquascape, especially the driftwood/plants. But the rocks are kool too.

I use thrive also, or sometimes the macros and micros from the same manufacturer.

Seems my plants are doing better than with Flourish.
 
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Shivermetimbers

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Thanks for sticking with me and kind words.

Have done some trimming and replanting on some of the s. repens, wisteria and hygro so far. I see a new leaf opening up on the anubias every 2-3 weeks, and my java ferns continue to produce more baby plants. My sword has now produced 3 babies which I have planted and seem to be doing pretty well, and looks like it is making 2 more small ones that will need to be planted in a couple weeks. A couple of my neons bit the dust 3 days apart, but they were kind of swimming on their own away from the school. The rest of them look to be doing fine, 6 of them seem to be schooling nicely. I will probably add a few more at some point.

Updated photo:
20180725_212043.jpg
 
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