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Mr Fishy's tank refurb


MummyDJ

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This is Mr Fishy:

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He currently lives in a 13 Gallon planted tank. The contents of which have seen better days. The reason for this is the person who put it together did no research and I now haven't a clue what plants they are.

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My sister is taking me shopping for all new plants tomorrow. This was initially going towards a 3 Gallon shrimp tank, however, I think this little guy needs his tank dealing with first. Wouldn't you agree?

So... On to business! After much interweb trawling I have chosen my plants!

Tall and "fluffy", Limnopila Sessiliflora.

Midground Cryptocoryne x willisii

And as a carpet, Hemianthus Callitrichoides.

I have put together a couple of layout drawings at a birds eye view. Here is a key so you know what you're looking at:

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Idea #1:

The yellow strip is sand left uncovered to seem like a path

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Idea #2:

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Any thoughts on this?

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Guest sharpchick

The dwarf baby tears will need high light to make it. Even if you are able to find the plants in a mat, you need to tear them apart into little bitty plants and space them checkerboard style to get a good carpeting effect. Since you have sand, which is an inert substrate, you'll need to use root tabs to keep them and the crypt going.

Limnophila sessiliflora is considered by the USDA to be a noxious weed - not sure about it in your country, but here in the US it's illegal to transport it across state lines without a federal permit. It grows well in low light, and can rapidly out-compete everything else around it. It has grown from the bottom of a 12 foot deep lake here in the US to the surface.

Another low light plant that would give you the fluffiness you want with not as much headache would be cabomba. It can also get tall - but not 12 feet tall - and so makes a very useful background plant.

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I've never dealt with a lot of planted plants before but wanted to wish you a lot of fun in up dating your pretty betta's tank. However you decide to decorate his home it's going to be so nice for him. :)

Edited by 4prettyfish
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I have done the sand paths, many times. Be prepared to maintain and correct your path constantly. A useful tool is sold as a layout tool. It has a handle and the end looks like a triangle. I would remove the fish to a safe place while you do all of this. Good luck.

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The dwarf baby tears will need high light to make it. ?Even if you are able to find the plants in a mat, you need to ?tear them apart into little bitty plants and space them checkerboard style to get a good carpeting effect. ?Since you have sand, which is an inert substrate, you'll need to use root tabs to keep them and the crypt going.

?

Limnophila sessiliflora is considered by the USDA to be a noxious weed - not sure about it in your country, but here in the US it's illegal to transport it across state lines without a federal permit. ?It grows well in low light, and can rapidly out-compete everything else around it. ?It has grown from the bottom of a 12 foot deep lake here in the US to the surface.

I made sure I did research on these plants before deciding on them. The sand you can see in the photos is a cap. Below it is organic potting compost so ferts aren't something I need to worry about for now. :)

I also know about US laws on Limnophila sessiliflora. I did look into UK laws on it and found nothing so I am pressuming there aren't the same sort of restrictions as you have there.

I have done the sand paths, many times. Be prepared to maintain and correct your path constantly. A useful tool? is sold as a layout tool. It has a handle and the end looks like a triangle. I would remove the fish to a safe place while you do all of this. Good luck.

Thank you for the sand path tip. Thinking I may go with Idea #2 as i'll already have my hands full with almost constant prunning. ;)

The 3 gallon that was originally going to be my shrimp tank is ready as a holding tank for him. :)

Another option for fluffy is parrot feather-myriophyllum aquaticum.

I've made my choices based on what plants I can get localy.

If the Limnophila sessiliflora goes completely mad and I feel I can't keep up i'll order some of this ^ as web order. Thank you the alternative. :)

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I do a lot of research too before purchasing any plants, fish, equipment, or substrate. The only problem I run into is the conflicting information that I read. For instance I had read that ottos were good tank mates for fancy goldfish, and have had 3 in my Goldie tank for about 2 months I think. Yesterday one of my Goldie's tried to eat one of the Ottos, and I had to remove the Otto from the goldies mouth using tweezers:( Today the Otto's are being moved to the shrimp tank...hope the info about them being compatible is right;)

I wish you the best in your aquascaping... I don't know much of anything about plants, so can't offer any advice, but it looks as if you've got it all under control, and know the right places to get the right information:)

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It sounds like it will look great! I've done the separated sand path before without any sort of barrier to keep it separated and it worked out fine- just requires more care when cleaning, and a betta is not going to mess it up for you which is an extra bonus :P

Good luck!

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I have plants!

I've ended up with Crypt wendtii "brown" as they didn't have any willissii.

Because the Wendtii grows fairly tall by comparison to the Willissii, I have decided on the layout with a path.

I will be planting and scaping tonight so will update as I do so. :)

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Planting update with lots of photos. :)

I started with emptying the tank of water and started pulling the old plants. This is when I found out the plants that were in there were doing extremely well! The roots on the longer grass were impressive...

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And the shorter grass had thrown out incredibly long offshoots...

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It felt such a shame to chuck them considering how well they've obviously been doing so i had a rethink of layout.

So I pressed the substrate to allow bubble release and replanted the grasses, then on to the crypt!

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I'm hoping the shorter grasses will act as my midground plant as my crypt will no longer do it.

After 1.5 hours of painstaking plant segmenting (i hate that stupid sponge stuff they use in the pots), I finally got to the re-fill.

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And here it is ladies and gentlemen! A little cloudy and giving it time to warm back up but i'm happy that, once established, it'll look very pretty. ^_^

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Side view:

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Crypt:

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Hemianthus 'cuba'

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The border of short grasses:

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Limnophila:

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I'm aware that there's a huge gap at the back but that will hopefully get filled in by my background plants. In the mean time there will be a fake plant for Mr.Fishy to be able to rest.

More updates as it bulks out!

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  • 2 weeks later...
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My Hemianthus Callitrichoides has shoots!! ^_^ they were planted a week and a half ago so i'm amazed!

Sorry for the poor photo quality. My phone sucks sometimes.

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Definitely. I'm glad I don't need to think about fertilizers just yet as i'm using organic potting compost under the sand.

It hopefully means the plants get chance to settle in before I have to put my hand to more complex aspects. :-)

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