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The final few months of my 54L first planted aquarium

Joined
19 Jan 2022
Messages
52
Location
Bedfordshire
Hello everyone, welcome to my first journal,
I wasn’t going to write about my first planted aquarium, but I think I have enough pictures to give a good story to how this progressed so I thought why not!
Back in October 2015 I see a tank that I liked for the money, my wife wanted to buy me it towards my Christmas.
The tank was an off the shelf model and is a Fish ‘R’ Fun brand, model FRF-585 it’s been a great little tank the lamp lasted a good 4 years before failing I have somewhat customised the filter over this time nothing drastic just added some bio media and replaced the filter floss, standard maintenance really.
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This was my first planted tank I didn’t really know much at the time about aquarium plants, (still got lots of learning to do) But it was the start of something that’s grown more on me.
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This is what it looked like when I first put it together back in October 2015 no live stock at this time as I was cycling the tank with pure ammonia correctly measured out to kick start the beneficial bacteria.
Fun fact: I still have the bog wood and the Anubis and maybe 1 or 2 others but I’m not sure.
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Eventually I put my 2 gold fish in there from my Fluval chi, I had these 2 gold fish from when they was a baby from my mums pond they was slightly smaller than a neon tetra.
Then in the summer I felt it wasn’t right to keep the fish in the tank and as the pond temperature was up I thought it was the right time to acclimate them back to the pond. It was then I started back to having tropical fish like I did back in my teenage years.
Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures worth showing between then and April 2021 a couple of baby guppy’s that been born in the tank.
My plant growth was never great mainly due to my lack of knowledge, fertiliser’s and most importantly CO2 back in 2019 I tried a diy CO2 method mainly due to lack of money I purchased a kit that you can convert 2 2 litres bottles into a homemade system using the bicarbonate soda and Citric acid, because I had both of these ingredients available to me and I liked the setup. What a mistake that was! The system worked only to well I came home from work and found all my fish had died due to the needle valve was letting to much CO2 past, I was absolutely gutted and annoyed with myself to the point I nearly shut the whole thing down, but I carried on, this time I just used the CO2 booster liquid and bought some more fish after exchanging the water just to be sure.
Everything was back to its usual self.
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This photo was taken on the 1st April 2021 where I re-homed 7 fish for a friend that didn’t want to keep there tank anymore.
More to come, I don’t want to overload my first post with information and pictures. ;)
 

Cavalier_Steve

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Thread starter
Joined
19 Jan 2022
Messages
52
Location
Bedfordshire
At the end of December 2018 i got my dad back into the fish keeping hobby, I liked with what he done with my old Fluval Chi tank especially the lighter substrate.
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At around this time I started watching MD fish tanks on YouTube, well that’s a good way to spend money on fish tanks isn’t it:lol: and I goto thinking about what I could do better with my own fish tank so I purchased some new gravel I then got 4 brand new bucketsemptied the water out of the tank put the fish into the buckets and plants in another and shrimp and snails in another bucket.
I cleaned the tank right out except the filter, this didn’t get touched, I put the white stick on privacy glass sticky stuff on the back and then put down some aqua soil then capped it off with some stones similar to what my dad had used.
I re-planted my plants and placed my bog wood. Sadly no pictures of the build but I took one after I was finished, I started the re-scape at 07:30 and finished at 11:10 ish.
Here how it looked before and after,
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After:
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After I done this I tested the water twice and then once a day over the next few days and to my surprise I had no ammonia or nitrite spikes I was half expecting the tank to cycle again due to the substrate change, I suspect that the bog wood and not touching the filter seeded the tank very quickly oh and I also used 50% of the old aquarium water so I guess that helped.
Apart from my weekly water changes and general maintenance not a lot has happened since then.
As you may know from my introduction post I have let my plants over grow a bit, this was intentional as it just looked green and lush.
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Well after I took that picture and posted it, I was embarrassed by it so I decided to have a bit of a cut back and move a couple of plants around.
Here is what it looks like now,
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I feel less embarrassed by this picture still not beautiful like most of you guys can achieve but it’s my first and I’m quite pleased with what I have achieved with no CO2 dosing.

So I mentioned in the title that these are my last couple of months with this setup, well that because my wife has said she will help me towards a new larger tank, I have made a promise that I will sort out some of my stuff in the spare room but I will gloss over that for now.
This is the tank we have seen and both like.
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But that’s another Journal coming in a few months time.
Thanks for reading.
Please comment below if there is anything you would like to say any tips for the new setup, stuff you would have done differently on this setup anything would help me improve my aquascaping.
 

MichaelJ

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Joined
9 Feb 2021
Messages
1,691
Location
Minnesota, USA
I feel less embarrassed by this picture still not beautiful like most of you guys can achieve but it’s my first and I’m quite pleased with what I have achieved with no CO2 dosing.
I second @John q, nice and clean tank - we can't all be prolific aquascapers (I am certainly not...). It's all about the joy of getting it right and it looks like you did!

I do think that Black Neon Tetra looks a little lonely though.

Cheers,
Michael
 

PARAGUAY

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Joined
13 Nov 2013
Messages
2,626
Location
Lancashire
I notice Gold Barbs one of my favourite fish for a planted tank .If the tanks big enough look good in numbers and the metallic bluey green sheen on the males rarely seen in shop tanks. Well behaved and active fish
 

Cavalier_Steve

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Thread starter
Joined
19 Jan 2022
Messages
52
Location
Bedfordshire
The tank looks fine mate and plant health in the main looks good, certainly nothing to be embarrassed about.
Thanks John :)
I second @John q, nice and clean tank - we can't all be prolific aquascapers (I am certainly not...). It's all about the joy of getting it right and it looks like you did!

I do think that Black Neon Tetra looks a little lonely though.

Cheers,
Michael
Thanks Michael, I must admit I have put quite a bit of work into the tank to get it looking like the way I want it.
I did have 2 Black Neon Tetra's on died unfortuatley, I was concerned about over crowding the tank so I never replaced it maybe I should, I have 2 Neon Tetras in there, I think there is a power struggle between them, not ideal I know and not normally something I would do normally as I said in my post all the fish other than the 2 Neon's I re-homed. When I get my new tank setup and cycled the 2 fish I will be buying is a group of Neon tetra's and Black Neon Tetra's so at least they can school together like they would do in the wild :), thanks for the kind words about my tank as well, its nice to hear from other people that enjoy there tanks rauther than making them peftect.
Cheers.

I notice Gold Barbs one of my favourite fish for a planted tank .If the tanks big enough look good in numbers and the metallic bluey green sheen on the males rarely seen in shop tanks. Well behaved and active fish
Hi Paraguay, They are great fish even with just the 2 of them they really liven the tank up, Im guessing that I have 2 female's (I really must look them up) they are both orange in colour one has a stronger colour than the other, Im sure the stronger colour of the 2 is the more dominant one, as he/she like to chase the other one round, they are clearly friends as they like to eat together especcially when i put shimp food in, they go mad for that for several hours after.

Thank you for all the like's and comments everyone keep them coming.

Steve.
 

Cavalier_Steve

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Joined
19 Jan 2022
Messages
52
Location
Bedfordshire
It’s been awhile when I last updated this thread, I haven’t done much to this aquarium other than the usual water changes and taking out some of my water lettuce as it over grows.

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It’s missing something at the front, so i cheated and found some stones from work that looks like they was made for an aquarium, I put them in some freshly boiled water and give them a scrub, I then put them in at the front, I don’t think they add much but this was to try and make the aquarium more appealing to any buyers, so they get a complete aquarium.
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Some of the fish and shrimp have been moved over to my new setup there are still some more shrimp to move over and there is 2 Guppy’s and 2 neon tetras just to keep the beneficial bacteria going for the new owner. (Aquarium listed in the for sale section)
The plan in to keep it going until someone collect’s it so they can have an instant start. I’m selling everything in the tank with the exception of livestock.For sale thread.
I feel the price is about right for the aquarium (what do you think?) brand new the tank is £100 with the heater and light. I’m supplying everything that you can see oh and the tropica soil that’s under the substrate.
This is probably one of the last posts about this setup 😢 it’s been a great learning curve with this aquarium, many ups and downs, I’m sorry to see it go , but it’s time for someone else to enjoy it for many years to come, I hope that it will goto a good home.
 
Joined
12 Mar 2022
Messages
134
Location
England
That's quite sad really 😢 pity you can't keep it as a reminder!
I still remember my first tank from when I was about eleven, my parents considered me responsible enough to wire a plug without fusing everything, they come fitted now.
It was 18 x 12 x 15 inches deep with an undergravel filter & a metal hood with a feeble little pink fluorescent tube fitted & I loved it!
Not been without an aquarium since, I must be addicted!
 

MirandaB

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Joined
28 Apr 2013
Messages
1,064
Location
Suffolk/Norfolk Border
I feel the price is about right for the aquarium (what do you think?) brand new the tank is £100 with the heater and light. I’m supplying everything that you can see oh and the tropica soil that’s under the substrate.
@Cavalier_Steve you might have to be prepared to drop the price a bit as the secondhand tank market is pretty flooded at the moment with people getting rid of tanks due to the energy price hike.
Not so good if you're selling but great if you're looking to buy....I recently picked up a less than a year old 250lt ND Aquatics tank and cabinet for £200 albeit with no equipment.
 

Cavalier_Steve

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Joined
19 Jan 2022
Messages
52
Location
Bedfordshire
That's quite sad really 😢 pity you can't keep it as a reminder!
I still remember my first tank from when I was about eleven, my parents considered me responsible enough to wire a plug without fusing everything, they come fitted now.
It was 18 x 12 x 15 inches deep with an undergravel filter & a metal hood with a feeble little pink fluorescent tube fitted & I loved it!
Not been without an aquarium since, I must be addicted!
Yes it is very sad, as much as I would love to keep it running and run the 2 together separately unfortunately as part of the deal of buying my larger tank was to sell that on once my other one is setup.
Sounds very much like the setup that I had when I was younger mine was a clearseal brand I think it was, It was never planted and was always about the fish, I had about a 2 year break from the hobby I can’t remember why though.
 

Cavalier_Steve

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19 Jan 2022
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Location
Bedfordshire
@Cavalier_Steve you might have to be prepared to drop the price a bit as the secondhand tank market is pretty flooded at the moment with people getting rid of tanks due to the energy price hike.
Not so good if you're selling but great if you're looking to buy....I recently picked up a less than a year old 250lt ND Aquatics tank and cabinet for £200 albeit with no equipment.
To be honest I didn’t think about the energy aspect of it good point! Fortunately I have for near offer on the tank but maybe people won’t come forward if they think there offer is to cheap, honestly I would rather sell it cheaper to someone that I think will look after it than to someone offering full price and won’t do anything with it.
Maybe I need to review the price in the next week or so.
 

Cavalier_Steve

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19 Jan 2022
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Location
Bedfordshire
Well sadly my tank was sold on Thursday evening, the lady liked how the tank was setup and took it as is, she sounded like she wanted the bare tank when I spoke to her on the phone, hopefully she has made it her own with the plants that are in there.
Here is the final picture of the tank before removing the 3 fish and several shrimps.
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Wow I should have called this thread the Neocaridina shrimp factory, I started off with 7 and I just couldn’t count them in the bucket,
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There was 15 that I could count still in the tank that I couldn’t catch, most was tiny baby’s and whilst I got most of the larger ones big ones still come out from hiding a couple of hours later.
The lady was told about them and we left about an inch of water for there short journey to there new home. I asked her if she had tap safe if she hadn’t I would have given her a bottle.
So that’s the end of that one.
It’s been a steep learning curve into the planted aquarium world which I have both learned from and expanded on and moved on to bigger and slightly more complex setup.
Keep learning everyone.
Oh and no sooner did I close the front door the area where the tank stood photos and ornaments was put in place of the tank 😢🤣
 
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