50G – 2 Months

January 4th, 2009

It’s been about two months since I first setup the aquascape in my 50G aquarium. The plants are growing in very well, and after many hydrogen peroxide treatments, the algae I was experiencing is finally starting to wane. Unfortunately, the H2O2 also took a toll on many of the fish I had in this tank. Otherwise, I’ve removed a few more rocks from the right foreground to allow for more focus on the woodwork there. Ideally, I’d like the wood to look like a fallen tree.

50G - 2 Months

The HC and hairgrass are both starting to take off, which I’ve been waiting awhile for. I’ll probably tweak a few more things, removing a couple plants from the scape, but more/less, I’m pretty pleased with how it’s progressing. As always, comments/critiques welcome!

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50G – 5 Weeks

December 15th, 2008

It’s been about 5 weeks since I first planted my 50G aquarium, and as you can see the plants are really starting to grow in. In some ways, I’m starting to think that this isn’t a good thing. I’m reconsidering all of the Blyxa japonica on the left side midground, as it just seems too imposing. I need to come up with a shorter plant there. Previously, I had just jammed the B. japonica down into the substrate prior to photos, but that’s not a great solution.

50G - 5 Weeks

The Hemianthus callitrichoides has finally started to spread a little bit in the foreground, so I’m hopeful that it’ll soon really gain some momentum and fill in. I was also able to get some Fissidens fontanus moss from another GWAPA member, which I attached to the large root ball on the left side. The stems, especially the Rotala macrandra ‘green narrow’, are really growing fast right now. The only disappointment to this point is the Hemianthus micranthemoides in the right midground, which is growing more veritical than bushy. I’m also dealing with a little bit of hair algae, which I’m trying to rectify by starting a small dosing regimen of traces, iron, potassium, and Seachem Excel. Largely, I’m pleased with how things are proceeding, but recognise that a few adjustments will be in order. Comments welcome!

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50G Aquascape: 3 Weeks In

November 29th, 2008

It’s been about 3 weeks since I first planted my new 50G aquarium. Since then, I got my 4x39W T5 lights from Catalina Aquarium, which are fantastic, and have tweaked a number of things in the tank. The biggest thing so far is that I removed a few pieces of the manzanita wood, which I decided were breaking up the flow of the aquascape from the left to right. As you can tell, the plants are all growing, but unfortunately, you can also see that I have a fair amount of algae. Part of the reason for this is that until this weekend, I didn’t have an extra timer to run the lights separately, so all four bulbs were going for 10 hours straight.

50G - 3 Weeks In

Now, only two are running, with the other two coming on for a mid-day burst of light. Hopefully that will clear things up after a bit. Despite the algae, the plants are growing well, and there’s lots of pearling going on. I changed up a few of the plants, taking out the Echinodorus sp. ‘Vesuvius’ , replacing it with Limnophila sp. ‘Mini’, and in the center mid-ground, I added Najas grass. All of the plants need a good trimming, but at this point, I’m still trying to propagate the stems a little bit more so that I can replant them. After that, I’ll start bushing them out via trimming.

Blyxa japonica

In addition to the plants, I also added a group of some fantastic Black Morpho Tetras, or Poecilocharax weitzmani. They’re still young, and quite skittish, so it’ll probably be awhile before I can get a decent picture of them, but there’s a fantastic photo of one on Aquahobby.com. They also seem to be growing, and I’m sure they love the acidic nature of the Aquasoil at this point, since they originate from blackwater streams. So, right now, it’s still just waiting game before I can really start fine runing the plants. Comments welcome!

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50G – First Planting

November 11th, 2008

Even though I’m still waiting on my 4x39W T5 light fixture to arrive from Catalina Aquarium, I’ve managed to borrow lights from some other tanks so that I can get going on the planting. I hooked up the Eheim 2026 Canister Filter, Hydor In-Line Heater, and CO2 canister so I’m good to go on everything but the light. I also added a few more rocks to fill in the hardscape. As this is my first planting, everything is subject to change and refinement as it grows in.

50G Aquascape

I’ve surrounded the large manzanita root ball with Stargrass, which I hope will provide a bright green backdrop to the wood. In front, I planted Hemianthus callitrichoides along with a little bit of hairgrass mixed in. This transitions up to some Blyxa japonica in the midground areas. In the back, I’ve planted five or six varieties of Rotala, which I’ll groom and cull once they’ve grown in a little bit. Unfortunately, I didn’t have full bushes of many of the stems, so they’ll all have to grow for a little while before I can truly scape with them. I still need to obtain a bunch of Fissidens fontanus moss to accent and soften the wood and rockwork. So, it’s definitely still a work in process… Comments welcome!

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50G – New Tank & Hardscape

November 5th, 2008

I mentioned last week how I’ve been tearing down a few of my smaller tanks in order to consolidate them into a single larger aquarium. Well, I’ve begun setting up a new 50G breeder tank. The nice thing about a 50G aquarium is that it is as tall as it is deep, giving it very nice dimensions for creating an aquascape. I still don’t have a light fixture for this tank yet, so up to now, all I’ve been able to setup is the hardscape.

50G - Hardscape

Using a huge manzanita root ball on the left, my goal was to create the look of a log or tree that’s fallen into the water and has sat there for awhile. The limbs have settled in between rocks, and only the larger ones remain undecayed. That’s the premise so far. I’ve had a difficult time trying to decide what plants I’m going to use in this tank, and exactly where they’re going to go. I’ll likely use a bunch of smaller leaf’d plants, such as various rotalas, but I still haven’t figured out how they’re supposed to fit with this hardscape. I think my biggest stumbling block right now is more about where to position the negative space (unoccupied area), rather than cramming plants throughout the entire thing. I’d love to hear feedback on the hardscape itself, as well as, any ideas for planting.

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