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Old 07-01-2014, 10:18 PM   #1 
Jennalyn
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Jenn's 5G Deep Blue Lagoon

And so it begins! A journal should be an excellent way to track my progress and help me remember dates.

Tank: Deep Blue 5 gallon
Light: 8w T5 Daylight bulb (included with hood)
Heater: Hydor Theo 25w
Filter: AquaTop PFE-1 (AquaClear media)
Substrate: Seachem Fluorite
Hardscape: Mopani wood & quartz/slate
Conditioner: Prime
Grow-Plants-Grow: Flourish Comprehensive, Root Tabs, Excel
Testing: API Freshwater Master Test Kit

I plan for the tank to house a betta and probably a Nerite snail as well. I don't have either yet so there's not a rush-rush-rush. My brother's friend's mom is big into freshwater aquariums and she offered to give me some filter media for seeding on Saturday.

The heater, fertilizer, and testing kit will arrive by Thursday along with a few other supplies. I have the rest of the above-mentioned now. The flourite has been rinsed and rinsed and rinsed again. I've boiled the mopani for a few hours two nights running now (first in smaller pot and then fully submerged once I found the stock pot) and I'm okay with whatever leeching remains. Just got the tank, substrate, filter, and hardscape set up tonight with a nice dosing of Prime. I don't have any way to test my beginning water conditions yet, so all of that begins Thursday night.

Plants arrive tomorrow in the mail! This will be my first planted tank as well as my first "properly researched" tank in general.

My basic goals in-order are (1) happy fishy, (2) hardy, living plants, (3) relatively minimal maintenance after set-up, (4) pretty tank. Wish me luck!
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:39 AM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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Looks good so far!

Careful with the Quartz. Quartz in and of itself is inert and should not have an effect on your water but often you can find metal veins running on top of the crystal so make sure that there is none because that stuff can harm the fish. You can generally scrub it off with a toothbrush and some elbow grease you can also use a magnet to test the surface of the stone. Also Quartz is harder than glass so just be careful in the aquarium, it can scratch your glass as well!
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:28 AM   #3 
Jennalyn
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Thanks for the tip about the quartz! Had no idea that metal veins running over it could be a problem. I gave it a really good scrubbing before I boiled it and I'll give it another once-over inspection this evening.

I'm very excited to say that my plants have arrived! And very frustrated that I have a full day of work to get through before I can go home and play. Oh well! At least they were taken quickly inside so that they didn't have to sit in the muggy Maryland sun.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:46 AM   #4 
lilnaugrim
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Okay! You should be fine then, careful when boiling rocks though; never boil any sort of smooth, river rock because they hold water and explode....not good clearly lol. But rocks hold heat for a very long time so even if it feels cool to you, it might not be on the inside quite yet is all. Just future reference :)

Yay for plants!
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:50 PM   #5 
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It sounds like a great project! I look forward to hearing about your betta adventures.
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:21 AM   #6 
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Good luck!

All of my tanks have had plants since the very start, and I wouldn't do it without~ The fish all seem to just love the plants, every single one perks up when I add something. I also know that if you heavily plant (ie 50% or more is planted if you look from top down) it can drastically help with nitrates.

I have a 5.5g and a 3.25g bowl which both are dirt bottom capped with tons of plants and every week when I test them (after no changes at all...) there is maybe 5ppm of nitrates... needless to say, you'll love the affects they have on water params and so will your fish!

Oh, and if your wood leaches any tannins out - it's okay. Fish actually really seem to like that, too. The guppies growing in my very very tanniny water grow waaaay faster.

Looks awesome :) Keep us updated!
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Old 07-03-2014, 05:11 AM   #7 
Jennalyn
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Thank you guys! I'm really looking forward to this little adventure in aquatic gardening. :) The tank's cloudy right now what with all the disruption and addition of a bit more flourite yesterday, but I know it'll clear mostly in a few days. If I was a little fishy, I think I'd get a real kick out of the tank!

Plants went in last night as best I could manage. They're lovely and leafy and I'll be sad to watch them melt initially, but I know that it's normal and some may not make it. My fertilizer and root tabs come today along with a bunch of other stuff (heater!), so hopefully those will help keep them alive and well long enough to survive acclimation.
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Old 07-03-2014, 04:42 PM   #8 
Jennalyn
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Plants are in! Let's see if I can keep them alive. Hehe. I had a bunch of supplies arrive today, so I wanted to get the picture before I stirred things up again. The heater, root tab, filter media, test kit... a bunch of good stuff.

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Old 07-03-2014, 05:02 PM   #9 
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That looks great. Java Fern grow like a weed in most conditions, and is that crypt in the back? Usually does quite well also!

I was never able to keep anacharis, but your tank looks great, love your choice of driftwood - some moss or anubias later on might be good choices to attach.

The water will definitely clear up in short time, especially if you run a filter.
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Old 07-03-2014, 05:54 PM   #10 
Jennalyn
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I'm having the darndest time getting the Java Ferns to stay put on the driftwood. I tried string, and then rubber bands, and now I'm on to oddly placed twist ties. Sigh.

The back-right has some Ludwigia Arcuata x Repens, and the back left sports some really springy Parva Swords that just received their first root tab.
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