🐠 TOTM Herbibore - October 2022 Tank of the Month Winner (17 to 30 Gal)

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Made the water change / pruning, and here's the tank afterwards, from the side view. You can see the female (Cochu? some debate) blue
tetra where she usually stands guard. The male, as usual, is lurking as the apex predator in the bushes. The rotala h'ra is coming along!

Second pic is blurrier, but you can make out a kuhli loach playing in the bubbles better.
 

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Your tank is beautiful! I love the layering of different plant heights, colors, and textures. Mine is less than 2 months old, but I hope when they grow up and fill in - I'll have a similar look. Very inspiring, thanks for sharing 💚
 
Your tank is beautiful! I love the layering of different plant heights, colors, and textures. Mine is less than 2 months old, but I hope when they grow up and fill in - I'll have a similar look. Very inspiring, thanks for sharing 💚

Didn't happen overnight, that's for sure. While it was very instructional to start first with a nano tank and tissue culture, in hindsight
I made many errors in the process, never having dealt with a small ecosystem, and probably shouldn't have as a beginner.
It involved a lot of reading forums and watching YouTube vids (the "Green Aqua" channel was the one that not only got me back into
the hobby, but showed me how, and there were lots of others I still watch).

That said, having a "core" of plants to grow and increase was a very organic process, so to speak. The diatom issues were distressing
at first, but as the plants matured, they also developed microbial growth which made the transistion to a larger tank much easier
(and without diatoms! yay!). As I have plants that could get much larger than the current tank, the urge is to transfer to a bigger tank
after a year . . . but. It's a lot of work. I also have a 7 gallon betta tank to maintain. I might transfer that tank to a 15 gallon, and use
cuttings from the two current tanks to fill it out. The betta tank is low tech (no CO2), as would be the slightly larger tank, and I
know enough about the plants now through trial and error to know which would do better in what particular tank.
 
Recent water change / pruning. I was able to snap some of the twitchy bloodfins, but that doesn't really reflect
on the interesting interactions between groups in the bushes. That's half the fun, lol.

The rotalla is growing fine!
 

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