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Thread: Desktop 20G (first planted tank in 20+years) build

  1. #21
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    March 12 update

    Again, as if I had been updating this all along:

    Added some cherry shrimp! Thanks, discofan.

    Also including a very bad pic of the doofus (fish stowaway), who is eating ground-up flake and growing very slowly, but is very difficult to take a good picture of.

    IMG_20180313_100149.jpg
    IMG_20180310_163914.jpg
    IMG_20180312_093503.jpg

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  3. #22
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    March 21 update

    The doofus (fish stowaway) continues to very, very, very slowly grow. It is so hard to take photos of this guy.

    What I can tell - it has a rounded tail shape (like a guppy, not a forked tail). I was thinking egg, but if any livebearer fry would survive being out of water and attached to plants in a ziploc, it would be a guppy. It could also be a rainbowfish (pseudomugil spp?), it has the right behaviour (always at the surface) and is a long body. If anyone recognizes it, let me know! It doesn't actually have a stripe - that's just the spine. It is very energetic, enjoying being right next to the surface agitation from the Aquaclear. The color seems to be plain silver.

    March_20_doofus.jpg

    Here are the latest on the plants. The stems are ready for a trim, most things are growing in well. The H. Japan isn't doing well floating. I planted a couple of salvaged bits to see if I can get it to do better. The moss is definitely starting to grow.

    I took out the Hygrophila spp, it never looked good or grew straight up and down. Plus, the leaves are just too large for this tank. Oh well!

    I'm loving the Limnophila (baby tears). Best impulse $1 purchase I ever made.

    I'm also loving the Cardamine Lyrata. It is supposed to be a stem/vine but for now, out of tissue culture, it is these lovely bushy bushes. I don't know if I'll be able to trim it to maintain the bush form.

    March_21_cs.jpg
    March_21_side.jpg
    March_21_ccs.jpg

  4. #23
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    My first berried shrimp!

    I've lost a couple of my original shrimp (seemingly around molts), but this is my first berried one! How exciting! This is from March 25.

    Mar_25_berried_shrimp.jpg

    In this pic you can also see how well the Limnophila, Pogo Erectus, and Hairgrass (Elocharis mini) are doing.

  5. #24
    SCAPE Member 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! swoof's Avatar
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    If it was a rainbow you'd see the blue around the eyes.

  6. #25
    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr Aquaman's Avatar
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    The tank is looking great!

  7. #26
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swoof View Post
    If it was a rainbow you'd see the blue around the eyes.
    Under the lights, the top of the eyes does shine neon blue, so that it looks like it has a couple of tiny neon eyebrows. With ambient room light, I don't see any blue around the eyes though.

    Here's a blurry photo that shows what I mean:

    doofus_blurry_blueeye.jpg

    And here's the best photo I can get of the doofus (as of yesterday). It's been growing very slowly, though I have my temp at 72 and only feed it a little crushed flake, so it might be stunted. It's about 15 mm long including the tail.

    doofus_best_photo.jpg

  8. #27
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    Current post-traveling update

    I went on a week-long business trip and came home to a tank full of tiny shrimp. Clicking on the pics might show you a bigger version.

    shrimplet-5-2.jpg

    Plus my tank is totally overgrown. I really love the overgrown look but it is time for a trim.

    5-3-meadow.jpg

    full-tank-5-5.jpg

    ccs-5-3.jpg

    5-3-ss.jpg

    I think I'm going to toss all the ludwigia and almost all the rotala, rearrange the P. erectus around to the back, drape the cardamine lyrata around the base of the P. erectus, thin out the dwarf sag so I can see the crypts and pearlweed again, and when the shrimplets have grown some I'll need to trim that moss.

    Also, the hairgrass (Tropica 'mini' variety) is getting very, very thick. Do I need to thin it out? It's looking great but I don't want to have it die due to overgrowth.

    Excitingly, a week without feeding and the doofus (stowaway fish fry) survived! I don't know if it bothered to pick at all the copepods in the tank or just starved - whenever I see it, it is just swimming at the surface.

  9. #28
    Pew Pew Lazor 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! Zenzu's Avatar
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    Great time traveling update. Tank filled out great!
    THE CAKE IS A LIE!

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    SCAPE Member 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! swoof's Avatar
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    Yeah, rainbow or rice fish. If you want to improve it's growth (most are slow growers) try Hikari fry powder.

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  13. #30
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    I added fish!

    Fourteen Vietnamese White Clouds, Tanichthys micagemmae. They're very pretty, and very active. I may start a separate thread in the fish forum on them.

    I hacked the plants way back to give them more swimming room.

    Here are some pics (they are hard to photograph!):

    group_7_1_smaller.jpg

    female_small.jpg

    male_cropped_small.jpg

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    SCAPE Board Member Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayo View Post
    I added fish!

    Fourteen Vietnamese White Clouds, Tanichthys micagemmae. They're very pretty, and very active. I may start a separate thread in the fish forum on them.

    I hacked the plants way back to give them more swimming room.

    Here are some pics (they are hard to photograph!):

    group_7_1_smaller.jpg

    female_small.jpg

    male_cropped_small.jpg
    Looking good! Now its a fish tank!

    Sent from my LGMS550 using Tapatalk
    More Tanks!

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  17. #32
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    Update:

    I did a major trim/plant pull a couple months ago. I ditched the last of the P. Erectus, which kept dwindling in my tank and just wasn't happy (maybe a combo of too much shade and not enough ferts? - regardless, if it doesn't like my tank environs, I'm not going to force it to try to grow there!). The rotala rotundifolia grows fast and healthy and is my only remaining stem plant.

    Unless you count pearlweed, which I have in the back where you can't see it in this photo, or the cardamine lyrata, which I think of as a 'vine' plant that will grow cute puffy bushes if you trim it that way (which seems to be, hack it all the way to the substrate, where it sits looking sad for a few weeks then puffs back out again).

    I pulled out all the regular javafern and half the needle/narrow leaf, because it had outgrown the tank. I'm trying a new moss (weeping moss) on one of the wood arms. Still evaluating it in comparison to the spiky moss I've had all along. I think I like it so far? Time will tell.

    I pulled out "all" the crypt wendtii green because it was too big for the tank. I seem to have missed one, though, which has sprouted up amidst the C. lutea in the front. I'll have to pull it later.

    I added some C. parva that you can see under the front branch. It has sat there, looking healthy but otherwise not really doing anything, for several months. Every so often I pull out the hairgrass that starts smothering it. We'll see how that develops.

    I pulled the dwarf sag that was in the hairgrass, and moved the crypt Lutea there instead (this was many months ago). The dwarf sag was getting way too tall (8 inches+ high). The lutea is supposed to get between 4-8 inches high according to the UNS tissue culture container it came in, but in my tank it is staying short (maybe 3" high?). I love it and hope that never changes.

    I may never actually get rid of the dwarf sag it seems. It keeps popping back in the hairgrass, and then I pull the leaves off again (I don't pull the roots because that will pull out the hairgrass too, which is rooted much more shallowly). It, plus the H. japan, plus the bits of moss that pop up everywhere, give the front a nice meadow-like character instead of a clean lawn. I like it.

    My shrimp continue to do well - most of my first generation have died off, I have to cull about 75% of the babies, but the remaining shrimp are pretty nice! I suspect that my fish have started to eat the baby shrimp, but I think I'll get enough to keep the colony going forward, so I'm pleased. I'm guessing that I currently have around 40-60 shrimp in there.

    The fish are healthy too - I added more lampeye killis to be friends with my stowaway. I think I might have too many males in the tank now (of both species), and there's a lot of chasing going on, though no serious injury.

    Too many words, not enough pics. Here's a quick snap with blue felt hung over it so you can't see my messy room through the tank:


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  19. #33
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    Here's a closeup of the "meadow" in the front.

    Spot the:

    dwarf hairgrass
    dwarf sag (among hairgrass)
    crypt lutea (lots)
    crypt wendtii baby stowaway (back right of the crypt lutea)
    spiky moss stowaway among the other plants (shrimp climbing up some right in front of the crypt lutea)
    hydrocotle "japan" (back right and popping up among the lutea and hairgrass)
    rotala rotundifolia creeping along the hairgrass at the very right
    pearlweed out of focus behind the Vietnamese White Cloud male, looking for ladies and food in that order
    too many snails




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  21. #34
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr Barliman's Avatar
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    I love that "meadow."

  22. #35
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr Jeffrey's Avatar
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    That's a nice looking tank! Thanks for the update.

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