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Old 06-05-2012, 08:23 AM   #11 
Oldfishlady
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Good job....I am sure you did this already....but make water changes until the water is crystal clear...its important for the water to be clear for good light penetration to the plants...

The tanks are going to look great once they fill in and that won't take that long either....the high nutrient soil really gets them growing fast.....
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:23 PM   #12 
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:D thanks OFL. I already have done the water changes, and it's crystal clear. The fish are loving it- I found draco resting on the crypt leaves-, the snails are digging about, and I think I see some new leaves on the Pennywort ...The roseafilia is an incredible color, the undersides of its leaves are this beautiful irridesent pink! I love looking at the plants, lol, they're so pretty when they pearl! I'm going to try and get better pictures, the earlier ones were when they were still cloudy.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:31 PM   #13 
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Awesome...look forward to seeing pics as the tanks fill out and grow....
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:27 AM   #14 
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JK, thanks so much for making this thread and posting pics as you go. I so want to do this!!! So it's great reading other people's experiences. With a possible house move coming up, though.. maybe I'll wait til spring. :)

I thought it was great you let your brother and sister have a side to plant each, I enjoyed seeing the result - they did a great job!

Did you end up being allowed to leave the tank on the main floor?
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:30 PM   #15 
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Thank you Aus and OFl :)

My grandparents and mom have grudgingly said alright XD. Of course, they're all saying "Those are the last pets! No more fish! I'm done!" .... but they always say that, lol. Of course, I don't plan on another tank (I'll be off to college in about a year and bringing Panche's tank with me.), so I'll be more or less following the no more pets rule.

I have pictures!

The camera was dying, but these were decent :)

First is my tank with Panache... I had run out and bought different lights before, but I'm really hating the lighting (I don't think the plants like it either) which is a bummer. They're supposed to be "daylight, full spectrum" Lies. The one on the right has a rather distinct blue coloration, and the one on the left is just a funky color. Tomorrow, I'll return the lights and go ahead and buy a proper glass hood and nice lightstrip like the second tank has.
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The snails are happy though, when I watch closely, every now and again I'll see gravel shift because the mts are rooting around. I'm going to have to capture a few and toss them in the second tank. The ones in the second tank aren't quite as abundent yet.
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Panache is happy too :) Panache is chill... as always... Lol, sometimes I think he's a bit... special. He tends to swim very slowly and stare off into space quite a bit, sometimes I catch him staring at the plants for several minutes at a time... just sort of floating there without moving his fins. But, he's always been like that and he's my finkid. On a side note, platies and guppies are a dollar in petsmart right now. They'll need about approximately a month of qt, so if I buy them soon, by the time they're ready to go in the tank, it'll be lush and full of hiding spots.
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Here is the second NPT, the one shared by my little siblings. I'm seeing a lot of new leaves on the pennywort, and I found two new leaves on the dwarf lilly! The roseafilia is pearling in the tank, and I swear I see a new set of leaves coming in. It's a beautiful red now.
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My little brother's and Salabite's side. Salabite has a bubble nest going on. He's flaring up a storm at Draco, which is a bit nerve wracking, because he seems to blow his tail quite a bit. It's a pain patching him up, and his tail never grows back quite right.... however, his colors seem to pop against the greens, and he seems super happy.
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My little sister's and Draco's side. Draco is extremely laid back, and seems to care less about the raging fish to his left. I need him to flare though, he had gone through a pretty bad case of finbiting, and his ct tail is finally growing back in. However, because he's not flaring, the ray reduction isn't as drastic as it needs to be. I think he's trying to go from wannabe plakat to a wannabe delta... >.<
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All the fish are active as can be, and enjoy laying on the plants. However, I notice all the boys seem to clamp up when they stay still too long.... :( I'm not sure what to think of that, because when they're swimming they're fine, and they're colored, no signs of distress, still eating like pigs, and no stress stripes. I did four 25% water changes throughout the day yesterday in both tanks (I should technically do another few today on Panache's seeing as it still isn't as perfectly crystal clear as I want it to be) and I'm wondering if all the water changing has got them clamping slightly.

Last edited by JKfish; 06-06-2012 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:40 PM   #16 
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Looks good. I use lots of soil NPTs, so I could have given you advice on starting.
You look like you did just fine without me though! lol.

As far as the lighting, I prefer the 6500k 'Cool white' or 'Daylight' bulbs from wal-mart. Your tanks will be getting plenty of full spectrum from the windows. The fixtures just need to give a little boost. (Plus, the bulbs are only $4.)

Soils that are 30-60% clay are actually GREAT for NPT's- Clay's full of nutrients that terrestrial plants can't use. In the early days of fishkeeping, everyone used Laterite as an enriched substrate- It's just a red clay from south america.

To prevent anaerobic spots, I'd really encourage you to fine some small echinodorus species to plant in each tank.

Last edited by redchigh; 06-06-2012 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:42 PM   #17 
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Oh, it looks like there is construction going on across from the house ... THey're knocking down trees, and one looks to be a big dead oak! Oh my, the branches are full of dried oak leaves.... I'm really tempted to hobble on over there with my bum ankle and drag a few limbs back home XD You never know when oak leaves are necessary! I might even be able to drag off a nice hunk of "driftwood"... if only the bulldozers would leave so I could do that.

Thank you, RedCigh. :) I did get the bulbs from walmart, they were the swirly flourescent bulbs to fit the hood. But the hood is inconvienent as well. XD Lol I'm definately going to make a trip back tomorrow and swap them out for the strips if they're only 4 dollars!

Last edited by JKfish; 06-06-2012 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:45 PM   #18 
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You could add a few leaves to each tank, but the wood would take too much prep work I think.

Also, on the holistic diet topic, you can buy whole ground rabbits and squirrel online pretty cheap. (Probably the normal prey for wolves, and it includes all the organs.)
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:55 PM   #19 
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Wow, great job! Thanks for the pics. :) It'll look awesome when the plants take off and get really bushy, which probably won't take long. :)

And it's great reading posts from OFL and redchigh.. your experience is awesome to have around.

JK, are you putting the guppies in with the bettas? I've read a lot about why they don't make great tank mates..mainly aggression, but different water needs too.. I'm not sure about platies, though.

If you use wood from the oak, age it about a year (or two) outside the tank, in case of green sap residue. The leaves will be cool, if nobody uses sprays near them at all. I'm on the lookout for a good supply of oak, but close-to-inner city living means I just can't trust they're clean. :(

Looking forward to more progress reports!
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:56 PM   #20 
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Hmm... echinodorus would be swords and such, correct? I have microswords in my little sister's side, and I could probably take a few pieces and stick them in the other side and my tank as well.

For raw feeding, I've heard of a nice site...I think it's haretoday.com. I'm still waiting to hear back from the vets... I might just send them another email. :P I don't want to bug them (summer is insanely busy over there), but I need info my dog's glucose levels for the meter.

Thanks Aus :) The oak branches and leaves are being run over and buried as I type... so that's a no go... ah well XD The guppies or platies would just be with Panache. He's so docile, I think he'd be fine sharing space with them in the 10 gallon

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