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Old 08-12-2012, 10:58 AM   #1 
SpookyTooth
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My planted 5 gals

Originally my two bettas, Echo and Kaze, were on either side of a planted divided 54 litre (roughly 14 gallons) aquarium. I decided one day that I'd like to redivide it and upgrade the filtration system I had, I wasn't satisfied with how things were. I removed both fish and had them in containers at opposite ends of my bedroom while I sorted this out as I didn't want to find something went wrong and the fish met or became stressed.

My idea was to create a corridor between each side of the aquarium and have the filter and heater in there but this idea fell through, my dividers simply wouldn't stay. I didn't want to drain the tank and fit anything permanent so I thought it would be wisest to have the fish in individual tanks again, I could run both filters off a single air pump and just bring out my spare heater to use temporarily. Kaze went into my rectangular 21 litre and Echo went into the 12 litre quarantine tank I had put by.

I set to getting Echo's tank sorted first as he was in the QT tank and I wasn't comfortable with him staying in there long term (plus Kaze's tank was satisfactory for the time being) so I went to my favourite fish store and picked up a bunch of supplies (tank, substrate, plants, ordered another heater online). After a lot of hard work and my light system dying and needing replacing I completed Echo's new home and am very pleased. I wanted to offer Echo a safe environment packed with plants as he is rather an angry fish, he flares at everything so I thought lots of cover would help him calm down.

Echo now lives in a 24 litre (about 5.5 gallons) cube. The plants are bursting into life and seem to be doing very well, the anacharis has started to form flower buds. The water is tinted a rose tea colour due to the piece of spiralling mopani wood situated at the back of the aquarium (my parents bought this piece of wood for me because they thought it'd be ideal, and it was -- thank you). There is also a piece of driftwood in there with some anubias, java fern and java moss attached. There are miniscule amounts of duckweed in the tank, I am looking to get a few larger species of floating plants to filter some of the light though that may not be needed as the anarcharis seems to be taking care of that for me.

Please excuse the leopard print cloth in the photos; Echo and Kaze's tanks are next to each other and with Kaze's being rectangular he and Echo can see each other when they are both at the front, the cloth is to stop them getting stressed.

Plants: anubias nana, cryptocoryne nevelli, cryptocoryne willisi, egeria/elodea densa (anacharis), heteranthera zosterifolia, hygrophila polysperma, marimo moss ball, microsorum pteropus (java fern), pogostemon helferi, rotala rotundifolia, vallisneris torta, vesicularia dubyana (java moss)







I'll be working towards getting Kaze's done next. We want to get another 24 litre cube as it fits better on the table that my tanks are sat on as well as being slightly larger than his current one. Once Kaze's tank is finished his 21 litre will be going to my giant African land snail and I will likely collapse in a heap with exhaustion... very much worth it though!

Echo is exceptionally grateful for all the effort I put into his tank, as you can see...

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Old 08-12-2012, 11:08 AM   #2 
Perseusmom
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Beautiful work ! The last picture is awesome love the flare !!! My Anacharis is doing great to with some flower bubs also, love it !
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:44 AM   #3 
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looks great!
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:54 AM   #4 
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Thank you both :) I hope it continues to grow well... good luck with your Anarcharis flowers Perseusmom!
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:30 AM   #5 
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Did a large water change today and trimmed the plants. The Pogostemon helferi was mush so I took that out, the rest of the plants seem to be doing okay. Had a slight amount of dieback as to be expected but I'm hoping once the tank re-establishes itself and the plants settle in & root things will improve.

So much growth though! The growth has certainly outweighed the death and I hope that trend continues. Certainly have new ideas for Kaze's tank once I'm able to start on that project so I'm staying optimistic.

This whole thing is a learning experience - rather a tiring one but once I've found the right balance between plants, light and nutrients all should be well. It's interesting seeing which plants thrive and which ones do not, it's giving me a really good insight into what plants are best for our water and maintenance routine.

I'm also being attacked by the dreaded mopani gunk... siphoning it out whenever I do water changes (doing an additional one per week while everything settles so I can remove dead/dying plant matter before it causes water quality issues). I've considered trying shrimp in the tank once things settle down but I'm not too sure...
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:49 AM   #6 
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Amazing
What substrate and lighting do you use?
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:51 AM   #7 
SpookyTooth
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Thank you

I use an LED light strip, colour temperature 6500k... I believe it to be 23 watts. The substrate is stuff known as Manado, it apparently helps store nutrients from the water and feeds it directly to plant roots, it's also porous so it offers housing for beneficial bacteria... I like the colour of it xD

Edit: did some extra reading, not sure about the claims of it storing nutrients but it was cheaper than a smaller bag of gravel or sand and I really do like using it. It's very light so planting was a bit difficult at times but it's as easy as sand to siphon so that kind of makes up for it in my eyes.

Last edited by SpookyTooth; 08-14-2012 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:05 PM   #8 
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Highly recommend water sprite for a floating plant. Got some a few weeks ago and it helped cut my high nitrates down to half and some of the plants have gotten huge!
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:57 AM   #9 
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Thank you for the recommendation Hopeseeker! I'll see if I can source any locally.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:58 PM   #10 
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Very nice tanks.
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