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25 Gallon Planted Community Journey V2

Robbo89

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Hey all,
 Restarting the journal for my community tank as the pictures were absolutely useless lol

 
As this is my first planted tank, and really first community tank, all advice/criticism/feedback is strongly desired!
 
Here is the first pic, day 1. (This was about 3 weeks ago)
 

 
Needless to say, many hard working hours later I found myself with this \/ 

 

 
Today I am 2 and a half weeks into the cycle, and visited the local fish store to pick up some plants, returned with a spectacular piece of 'gold vine' driftwood, as well as 3 'clumps' of a plant I cannot remember the name of for the life of me 
 Help ID ing please anyone? I also snagged a little potted amazon sword, not sure which strain, but hopefully I can grow it out into something a little more special than it is right now. Currently, tank looks as follows. (Driftwood still soaking)
 

 
Driftwood
 

 
I'm not really happy with the plant set up in all honesty, It certainly won't stay like this when I add the drift wood tomorrow (soaking overnight is fine, right?) but I wanted to go for a fairly heavily planted tank with plenty of hiding places for my fish, and would love some advice. Any suggestions on species/arrangements would be much appreciated, cheers.
 
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Great looking piece of wood!
What fish are you planning to keep?
Is that a coconut shell for the cave?
Looking forward to updates. :)
 
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Robbo89

Robbo89

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Added the driftwood this morning, and even though it still floated a large rock (and eventually pot) held it down. Don't currently have any black bin liners so for now the orangey/brown one will do, let me know what you think of it! :)
 
Also trimmed and re-arranged all the plants, including the smal sword. 
 
In the middle of the mess

 
Another mess

 
So here it is now, the pot will only be there until the wood becomes water logged, anyone know how long this will be? 
 
Personally I don't mind the background, at least for now, and as a bonus it has quite a nice scented smell to my room ;)
 

 
Driftwood 

 
Little Amazon Sword (Crypt???
 ) that I split up into 4 smaller plants, looking nice IMO :)

 
And finally, a full setup shot 


 
So if anyone could help me out, how long will the driftwood take to sink? And could anyone tell me which species of plant I have?? Sorry I'm hopeless with plants 


Blondielovesfish said:
Great looking piece of wood!
What fish are you planning to keep?
Is that a coconut shell for the cave?
Looking forward to updates.
Yep ! Homemade coconut cave :)
Without fail all my plecs/catfish have loved it ! Bristlenose, Upside down cats, even platies ! :p 
This tank will stock; 2 Aspistos, 4 Platies, 8 Black Phantom Tetra and 8 Panda Corys :)
 

techen

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Can tell you now that the wood is not driftwood. It's redmoor wood as far as I can see. It can take from a few weeks to a year to sink. I'd leave it like that for a few weeks then check again.
 
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Robbo89

Robbo89

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techen said:
Can tell you now that the wood is not driftwood. It's redmoor wood as far as I can see. It can take from a few weeks to a year to sink. I'd leave it like that for a few weeks then check again.
Seriously? It was bought from an aquarium store, and labelled as 'Gold Vine' aquarium driftwood... :/ 
Is there any other way to make it stay down without having to tie it to something heavy... :(
 
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Robbo89

Robbo89

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Can anyone suggest a way to make the plants look less 'cluttered' ? 
To be honest im tempted to take whatever this species is back to the lfs and pick up a few bunches of Ambulia.. :/
I just think it looks strange having all those big leaves tangled in each other although I guess the fish will love it.. 
 

mike455555

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way to make it stay down iv used is drill small holes in the wood and some slate thread fishing line through them both and bury the slate in the substrate, although its harder said than done >.> 
 

greenmumma141

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I had two huge pieces of redmoor, and surprisingly enough it only took two weeks or so to fully sink. I would just check in a couple weeks :)  Tanks looks good!!!
 
As far as the plants go, it really just depends on how you want your tank to look. If you're not crazy about the plants in the back corner, then maybe try spacing them out along the back and putting more plants in front of them- they'd make a great background plant. But if you just don't like them, then try something else :)
 

eaglesaquarium

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The one great thing about plants (quite different from fish) you don't have to stay married to the plants.  If they don't work in your tank or you don't like the look of them, they are fairly cheap to replace as often as you'd like.  I'd never recommend that with fish though!  
 
 
Chances are you'll change the layout a few times, change out some plants every now and then.  The fish won't really mind too much, although whenever I rearrange my tank, my BN gets a little persnickety and digs some holes in the sand in protest.  
 

greenmumma141

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hahaha my bn does the same thing. My pictus is the worst though, he gets very cranky about any changes :rolleyes:
 
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Robbo89

Robbo89

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Hahaha stubborn little guy! I think over time the big leaved plants (still no idea what its called.. :/) will grow on me no pun intended ;) 
and as you said mumma they should make a nice background plant :) I only soaked the wood over night and so now my tank is very cloudy, not tanned like i expected though, just cloudy... 
Will be playing around alot with it later today, more photos to come! 
 
My lfs doesn't have a very large plant variety, and I'm considering ordering online. What experience have people had with online plants? Downside is I can't take them back if they don't work :/ 
 
On another note; I had the idea last night to hunt for a nice piece of Mopani wood to lean up against the right hand side wall, thoughts on how this would look? Also considering adding some twisted vallis and also dwarf hairgrass to the right corner, opinions would be swell ! ;)
 

eaglesaquarium

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The cloudiness is just a bacterial bloom... nothing to worry about.  Its normal in new set-ups.  A lot of people will freak out and try to do all sorts of things to clear it.  The only thing to do is sit back and wait it out.  It will clear on its own in a few days. 
 
Ordering plants online isn't a big deal.  If you go to a reputable dealer (sorry, I can't help you there with an Australian choice) you usually get at least what you pay for, or even a few extras. 
 
 
Vallis can be sensitive to Flourish Excel (and other liquid carbon products).  I don't know if you plan to use that or not, but you might want to know that.  I've heard (but never experienced) that if you start with a 1/3 dose of Excel for a week, then 2/3 dose for a week and finally up to a full dose after that.
 
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Robbo89

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Never heard of this Flourish Excel product, I assume its a plant fert?
 

greenmumma141

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Seachem has a a whole line of fertilizers. The seachem excel is a liquid co2.  
 
I have both italian (just straight, regular) and cork screw vallis. I have heard that many ppl have trouble with vallis, and that it either loves your tank or hates it. When I first added it, i had some melting, but it bounced right back and needs weekly trimmings :)  I will say that the italian bounced back much faster than the corkscrew and still grows much faster and is on the whole much healthier looking than the corkscrew, but again, that's my tank.  I almost wish that I didn't add the corkscrew bc when its unhealthy looking, it's very messy looking. But then my nice green ones are really cool looking, so I'm happy with it on the whole :rolleyes:
 
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Robbo89

Robbo89

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What would be your recommendation for this tank then? I like the look of the corkscrew vallis as a background plant and it has quite a nice texture and colour to juxtapose the plants I currently have in there. With a small piece of Mopani in that right hand corner (filter pipes are moving) and a back ground of corkscrew, foreground of dwarf hairgrass and either an anubias or some other plant mounted onto the mopani, how would that look? i'm really new to this and the way I see things in my head never really turn out on paper so to speak! :p
 
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