Tank journal

12 gallon long dutch style aquascape

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The Start

My 12 gallon just arrived!! Woohoo!

I’ve seen some amazing aquascapes from this forum and it has inspired me to do my own 12 gallon setup.

The box just arrived to my office and it was definitely well insulated . This box is huge!

It’s been like Christmas here again. My eheim, media, inline heaters, plants, shrimps, aquasoils, and misc shrimp products have been arriving in the last few weeks.

I can’t wait to tear into this thing.

Update – Planning and Sketching

Quick update:

I had a 5 gallon fluval edge that I finally was able to sell to make counter space for the new project. I had to take a lost, but the wife was like ” you have to lose one or the other” Sorry Fluval you lost and Mr. Aqua is the new tenant.

Here’s what I had in mind for a design. I want to do an Iwagumi style tank with T5HO lights, seiryu stones, CO2, perhaps some DIY Lilly pipes, riccia carpet, and some pennywort to balance the middle.

I found the stones from Midway and am ordering the other items online.

Update – ADA Aquasoil Arrived

My ADA aquasoil is here! OH YES!!

I got amazonia and africana. It took 3 weeks to get here so I’m a bit excited that it’s finally arrived.

amazonia – buffers to about 6-6.4 PH
africana – can buffer the water into the 5PH range.

I’m using RO water so it should be able to hit the lower end of the range.

As far as plants go.

The RICCIA is on the way, Thank you iovaykind for the RAOK. I plan on meshing them down with little rocks and making streaks of them in between the seiryu stones.

Found some pennywort from Ebay. It’s also on the way.

Update – Found a Home

The tank has a home. I found a good spot on my kitchen counter.

See also  ADA Mini M Iwagumi

And this is the 1st attempt with the stones in the tank. I noticed that I was a few stones short and the right side seemed a bit too overpowered by the left grouping. So I pulled a non Seiryu stone to temporarily fill the gap. However it kinda sticks out like a sore thumb. I definitely want a more consistent look so I went out and bought 3 more stones. It works out to be about $55 in stones from the local LFS.

Update – Lighting

moving onto the light.

I did a ton of research for a light that had great ratings and didnt break the bank. I wanted a T5HO, and about 36″ long to fit the tank’s length. Coralife is a well known brand but I read that the lights have some bad batches of ballast that go dead about 6 months into their use. Aquaticlife works great but is pricey and kinda bulky.

I found this odyssea dual bulb fixture 39W on amazon that was priced right about $60 bucks. It has a sleek design and great ratings. These Mr. Aqua 12GL’s are not quite 36″ but the lights were, so I had to figure out a way to make it work.

Out of the box this is what it looks like. It’s sits way too low to the tank, however the legs are removable and you can bend the metal rods as needed. I made a couple of bare handed 90 ish bends in the legs and was able to raise it up to a much better height.

I really do not like the blue bulb. I’m thinking about replacing it with another T5 bulb. It’s not as blue in person but on camera it looks twice as bad.

Update – Replaced Bulb and added plants

Today I replaced the actinic blub with a 6700 T5 bulb and it makes the tank look so much better. I’ve also started a dry soak.

I was also going to put some pennyworts in there, but found these pennywort like plants clumped and carpeting a piece of my backyard. I thought they looked pretty so I dug some up rinsed them and planted them in.

Can anyone identify it. I highly doubt they are aquatics plants and I suspect once I do a fill that they would completely rot.

Flooded – Added Plants

So I’ve been waiting for my pennywort bought off of fleabay but it hasnt shown up. Probably lost in the mail. So i’ve ordered some more aquarium plants from here to make sure I get some in.

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I’ve added a few things to the tank while I’m waiting though. I bought some cabomba and added it to the right side as a background plant. I like how these look and wanted to mimic a bamboo forest in the back ground. I still have some of the pony’s foot found in the backyard in the tank. As you can see they are beginning to melt. I have added a few brazillian pennywort that were shipped free from some shrimps I bought a while back there were only a couple of leaves but they’ve begun to spread out a bit. These guys are up against the rock.

I also bought a bunch of riccia and spent a couple hours meshing them to little rocks. I’ll use these as a border to fence in the HC once they arrive. I have some homemade CO2 in there at the moment and highlight these things are pearling a ton.

I’ve also made an attempt at making my own lily pipes for the Eheim canister filter 2213. I used a heat gun some salt to bend the acrylic tubes into shape. Learned off of this forum of course.

Update – Plant Growth

The marsilea is coming in pretty well and Riccia rocks are poking through the mesh. I ripped out the pony’s foot and replaced it with Glosso.

I received a small patch of baby dwarf tears (HC) from an issaquah planted tank pro. I have that planted on the left side of the tank. I hope they fill in with plenty of light and CO2

Update – Rearranged

Today. I bought a few bacopa and rearranged my riccia rocks to the base of the stones. I think it gives it a very natural look.

Everything still looks a bit messy and cloudy because I just finished cleaning off the stones and rescaping about 70% of the plants.

I’ve also installed my new eheim 2213 with extended spray bar.

Update – Full Tank Shot Overview

3 10 2013 Overview Shot Ada Amazonia Aquasoil Seiryu Stone Riccia Cabomba Brazillian Pennywort 12 Gallon Long Aquarium Red Cherry Shrimp

Update – More Plants!

So I’ve added a few plants to the tank.

Elatine Trianda – which has all completely melted
Replace with Staurogyne repens -which is holding up well
Rotala Indica (not true)
Hydrocotyle sp Japan

As well as some fauna
7 Amanos
5 Gertrudaes – 6 originally (1 died ramming himself into the wall)
2 Sae’s
3 Nerites
2 ottos
3 cherries
2 threadfins

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The pennywort arrived in the mail and it was apparently pulled from someone’s pond. It was full of dirt an gigantic leaves. It wasn’t quite what I had in mind, So I’ve left it floating in one of my other tanks with high light for about a week and it began to sprout new shoots.

Update – Thread Algae Outbreak

My tank also had a thread algae outbreak, probably from the cardamyne I picked up from a LFS.

It covered my glosso and some of my rocks. It was killing me with frustration. and I battled it constantly for 2 weeks. I almost ripped everything out but I did manage to eradicate it!!

I know there’s been a ton of threads already on this but I this is what I did to get rid of it.

Amano Shrimps – I noticed the younger shrimps are more voracious than the older ones, so don’t fall into the idea that bigger is better with these guys,

SAE – bought two but these guys may have been the phony kind or were already turned to fish food and I found them pretty useless.

Shortened photoperiod to 6.5 hrs.

Spot treated the tank with hydrogen peroxide. 3% for a week. Please refer to the algae section on this forum for dosage amts.

Increased my Excel and CO2, well within the lime yellow drop checker range.

Lowered my fertilizer dosage by 3x during this time frame. I also cut out nitrogen, iron and phosphates during this time. I use the seachem products

I water changed about 30% on Wed and Sunday to control the nutrients.

Tooth brushed the heck out of the tank and let the little amanos do the polishing. Now the tank is algae free and the plants look better than ever. (minus the riccia who did not like the hydrogen peroxide and the extra excel)

I did lose 1 cherry in the process but everyone else is alive and thriving. 1 cherry is a small price to pay for an algae free tank.

Update – More Plant Addiction

The tanks gone through some rescaping and due to my addiction to add new plants I’ve added the following plants.
Staurogyne repens
Alternanthera reineckii mini
Crypt wendtii
Star Grass

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