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Thread: My 9-month journey with my first low-tech planted tank. UNS 75P (36 Gallons)

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted gordslinger's Avatar
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    Los Angeles
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    My 9-month journey with my first low-tech planted tank. UNS 75P (36 Gallons)

    I just joined today and thought I would show some progress pics at various stages of my first low-tech tank build for my first post.

    Hardscape: Dragon stone and spider wood
    Substrate: Aquaforest Lavasoil in the back and on the sides, and UP AQUA Sand for Aquatic Plants on the sides and foreground
    Light: Fluval Planted 3.0
    Filter: Oase Biomaster Thermo 250 cannister filter.

    The tank was aquascaped and flooded on October 19th, 2019. Here is the first tank shot I took 5 days later once everything settled down on October 24th, 2019.

    I slightly tweaked the hardscape and added plants on November 9th, 2019. Hydrocotyle Tripartita in the substrate, Christmas Moss on the driftwood, and Fissidens Fontanus on a couple pieces of Dragon stone. Spike Tail Malaysian Trumpet Snails were added. I started dosing with NilocG Aquatics Aquarium Fertilizer Shrimp Specific ThriveS All in One Liquid Fertilizer twice a week. A few weeks later, more livestock was added. 6 Otos and 10 Amano shrimp.

    Over the course of the next month hair algae exploded. The amanos and otos wouldn't touch it. I added some Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides) to the background to try and help use up the excess nutrients that were in the tank. I also added Bucephalandra Brownie Ghost.

    December 17th, 2019.

    There was also an outbreak of Blue Green Algae, but Ultralife Blue Green Slime Remover quickly got rid of it. My first win! A month later, the Water Sprite was growing in nicely but the hair algae was still a major issue. I decided to add 3 SAEs to help.

    January 19th, 2020.

    The SAEs ate up a lot of the hair algae but 1 killed the other 2 and an Oto and started going after the amanos. Since he was going to outgrow the tank anyways, I removed him. Unfortunately due to the aggressive nature of the SAE, my Otos don't come out anymore. They now hide 100% of the time.

    Fast forward to the end of March, I add 18 Emerald Dwarf Rasboras and more plants. Narrow Leaf Temple (Hygrophila corymbosa Siamensis), Wisteria (Hygrophila Difformis), Cardinal Plant (Lobelia Cardinalis), Cryptocoryne parva, Anubias Frazeri, Anubias Nana Petite, and Anubias Barteri Coffeefolia. Didn't realize Duckweed also came with these plants on accident. I reallllly wish I caught that.

    March 31st, 2020.

    In April I added Red Root Floaters (Phyllanthus fluitans) as another attempt to help with the hair algae problem. The Narrow Leaf Temple, Wisteria, Anubias Frazeri, and Anubias Coffeefolia all melted pretty quickly and didn't really recover after. I had been waiting to get my centerpiece fish until I got rid of the hair algae but after 4 months I decided I didn't want to wait forever and got a trio of Apistogramma Cacatuiodes!

    April 6th, 2020.

    The Red Root Floaters and Duckweed exploded, covering the entire surface of my tank. I have to remove large amounts every week! I really hate the Duckweed. It's such a mess and covers my arms during maintenance. However, the hair algae issue was finally solved and black beard algae took its place on the Christmas moss covering the driftwood on the right. The Christmas moss on the left side driftwood didn't survive the hair algae infestation. A few weeks later I added leaf litter and spawning caves and my Apistos spawned shortly after! Only 4 fry survived from the inital spawning and have been growing up with the rest of the community.

    Here is my latest shot, which is similar to how the tank looks now.

    June 30th, 2020.

    Some of the plants are doing much better than others. I do think that light is having a harder time getting through due to the floaters, so I need to address that. My Spike Tail Malaysian Trumpet snail population has exploded and I need to get rid of a few hundred soon. I have no idea how many there are. It's insane. My apistos have been doing great and keep spawning. However, the 4 original juveniles keep any of their younger brothers and sisters from surviving. This is my only tank, so unfortunately only the fittest fry will survive until I remove the juveniles once they can be given to my LFS. It's been quite a ride and I definitely have a ways to go, but I'm enjoying it!

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  3. #2
    SCAPE Member Just Planted Jawaeater's Avatar
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    Rad journey! Nice tank and progress. I'm currently combating some blue green cyanobacteria in my 90 gal planted and am not sure what to do right now. The tank is heavily planted with 0 nitrate, and I've been trying to increase the flow with no success. I'm afraid of trying something I don't know the ingredients of like Ultralife.

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