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Planted Tank: Then And Now


Calluna

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Starting with the 29 gallon I had for three years, here's a picture of it taken in September. Now that I see the fish swimming in the 55, I couldn't imagine them being crowded into a 29 gallon again.

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So here's a comparison of the 55g before and after and in between.

In February, the tank was started. Very simple, bare, and it was sooo clean. At this point, it was Bobby and stubby only.

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This one is later in February when I got Scalar and Vector. They were so tiny!

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The green water catastrophe of March:

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Post green water, also March.

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The tank in April:

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And finally, four months later, pictures taken today after a few months of neglect. That is, doing nothing besides water changes and feeding the fish. Unfortunately it's pretty messy right now, all overgrown but hopefully I'll get to fixing that sometime. The fish have grown nicely, their colors richer and more saturated and the staghorn algae that killed the anubias is gone. I love how the vals spread so much, although the the fish have kept half of it chewed short. Well, at least they're getting their veggies.

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And check out Vector's color change, compared to his pic in my signature. Look like he's turning a lemon yellow. I'll miss the black but I like yellow too, since I've never had (or seen, at least in real life) a yellow fish.

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You & Hidr are the two people who have such the magic touch when it comes to plants. Excellent job! :) Please come fix my plants :D

I love Vector's color change. Bobby is as stunning as ever. Thanks for sharing!

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Wow, that is so cool! Thank you for sharing your tank's progression. Maybe it's just me, but I think your tank looks incredible the way it is... very natural, wild and pond-like! I love it!

By the way... I see you've defeated green water. How exactly did you do it??? (Do I see a UV sterilizer in there?) I don't want to hijack this thread, so if you want to PM me that would be great! :D

Edited by Kailey
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Thanks Alex and Kailey! And that's right, it is a UV sterilizer in there. I tried everything- reducing the light hours, a five day blackout, super cleaning the tank, tons of water changes, and reducing the fish food but the green only got greener. So finally I gave in and just got the UV.

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Wow! Your tank is absolutely stunning. I have to agree with Alex, you and Hidr sure have a touch with plants. :) I bet your fish are so happy in their beautiful home with the all you can eat salad bar. :D

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I absolutely love how your tank looks now! What exactly are you gonna "clean up" there? Is that algae covering the back wall?? Oh GAWD I wish my tank was looking like that. Can someone please say NITRATE CONTROL here? LMAO

Now how did you get the green water, and then the algae growing? What lights/light fixtures do you have? Yes, I am seriously asking! :D

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wow your tank looks awsome even when it was green water! and i know what you mean about having your goldies in the 29 gallon after i moved my fish into the 80 gallon i just could not imagine having all of them back in the 20 gallon i orignally had them in!

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I absolutely love how your tank looks now! What exactly are you gonna "clean up" there? Is that algae covering the back wall?? Oh GAWD I wish my tank was looking like that. Can someone please say NITRATE CONTROL here? LMAO

Now how did you get the green water, and then the algae growing? What lights/light fixtures do you have? Yes, I am seriously asking! :D

Thanks! I was originally going to clean the back glass, but after hearing you all like the the back glass algae, I'm going to keep that. So now I'll just clean up the dead leaves on the sword... Anyway, it is algae covering the back wall in the last 3 pictures. I usually clean the glass before it gets to this stage, so the other March/April pictures are just black paper. It's a bit hard to tell in the pics, but the wall isn't black anymore, the algae makes it a nice dark shade of reddish and greenish. I don't do anything to help the algae grow, it just happens I guess.

Um, how did I get green water? Well, the light fixture is a dual T8 48'' shoplight, 32 watts per tube. I found mine at menards, but they're pretty common. I had the lights on for too long, maybe 14 hours a day. The plants were mostly new at the time, so they were just settling in and probably not absorbing all the waste that they could. A few weeks prior to the green water I added two fish to the tank. So it was probably the excess nutrients and light that caused the green water.

Thanks everyone else for your comments! :D

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BEAUTIFUL!! I am aiming for a tank like that!

:Congrats:

The fish look so happy and healthy, too.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...
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I could have sworn I posted here. Maybe it was eaten in the upgrade?

I LOVE the algae wall! May I ask what the plants are and what your substrate is? Just sand or more? I'm changing mine in a few days. Also, did you have any plants that did not work out?

I bought a gorgeous hug val, and it's melting away. I thought that one was somewhat goldfish hardy, so I'm disappointed.

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I could have sworn I posted here. Maybe it was eaten in the upgrade?

I LOVE the algae wall! May I ask what the plants are and what your substrate is? Just sand or more? I'm changing mine in a few days. Also, did you have any plants that did not work out?

I bought a gorgeous hug val, and it's melting away. I thought that one was somewhat goldfish hardy, so I'm disappointed.

Thanks! The plants in those pictures are:

-echinodorus osiris (Melon sword)

-vallisneria americana (corkscrew val)

-sagittaria subulata (dwarf sagittaria)

-rotala rotundifolia

-microsorum pteropus (java fern)

A few weeks ago I added some bacopa caroliniana (giant bacopa) and it's doing great. My substrate is just plain gravel. I did have some plants that didn't work out, mainly those slow growing ones. They get overwhelmed by the goldie attacks and get covered in algae. My java fern is the only slow growing plant that does ok in the tank. These are the plants that didn't work out for me:

-anubias nana: goldies ate the exposed roots, leaves covered with algae

-egeria densa (anacharis): grew fast but goldies ate it faster

-ceratophyllum demersum (hornwort): well, it wasn't that it didn't work but as it grew, the older parts dropped needles and that got ugly fast LOL

Oh and about the val, they usually melt off the old leaves and regrow new ones when you first get them. Happened to me.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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I am not a expert on plants but I use to dabble in it. I don’t know the wattage on your tank lights but if all your plants are slow growers and your goldfish is producing waste, the fastest growing plant will consume the waste at a higher rate.

Because you left open a viable section of your tank for plant life to grow, green algae consumed it. Shutting off the lights means algae and slow growing plants still compete with exactly the same amount of lights. So if you ran the light 1 hour a day, the algae would consume more waste over your slow growers in that 1 hour period.

I was doing homemade co2 planted tank with high wattage. I started off with many small plants and green water started. Once my plants finally grew the green water went away. I did put in some fast growers in the tank too, that also helped. I didn't need a UV sterilizer since green water isn't a bad thing. I just waited it out.

This is just my theory of what I remember.

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