60x30x30 Bonsai tank. Trial and error.

lilirose

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I'm just going to begin this thread with a load of photographs, inline so that I can easily caption.

This is my first-ever high-tech tank. It was a year in the planning, but in the end I did a lot of impulse buying. I also made a lot of mistakes at every phase, and it's still nowhere near where I want it.

I'm not looking for advice on this tank at the moment- in fact, today I am sick to the teeth of the thing. But I will probably feel better tomorrow, so here are pics from start until today.

2020-07-09 16.26.46.jpg


Were I a clever woman, I would have started asking for advice round about here. This was the seventh of July and I was planning a dry start method. I also thought that little trail would not be difficult to maintain (lol- such a sweet summer child).

2020-07-09 16.51.32.jpg


This was a half an hour and two XL in vitro pots of Micrantheum 'Monte Carlo' later. I was trying to do the "Lazy Man's DSM" according to Jurijs Jutjajevs. I thought I was going to just leave it alone for a month and have a nice carpet when it was time to flood.

However, by the 14th of July, the substrate was overgrowing with mould. :eek: My first impulse was to treat with H2O2, then I realised that mould would die underwater, so the answer was to flood.

2020-07-14 18.48.43.jpg


As it turns out, it's a good thing I didn't manage to DSM a carpet, because that :banghead: bonsai floated.

2020-07-24 18.53.26.jpg


24 July. The Bonsai sank. Added more MC, a pot of Marsilea hirsuta, a pot of Pogostemon erectus, and planted the bonsai with Anubias barteri var. nana 'Pangolino'. That's bio CO2, which I got fed up with quickly and bought a pressurized CO2 system. I should have tried to fix the little trail at this stage but I did not.

2020-07-24 18.53.35.jpg


Closeup of the bonsai, because I like the Anubias.

Then I let it grow for a while, added pressurized CO2, posted this thread with photos because the carpet wasn't growing fast enough for me:
https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/carpet-not-carpeting.62463/

Took some advice. Now today I have this:

2020-10-13 16.51.06.jpg


The stuff in front of the Pogostemon erectus that looks like crumpled autumn leaves is newly planted in vitro Alternanthera reineckii 'Rosanervig' which I hope will stop looking like crumped autumn leaves soon.

Stocking is 10 Crystal Black shrimp which have somehow survived since I bought them on 31 August. They aren't breeding yet but they've moulted a couple of times- they were very small on purchase.

This has definitely been a journey, and at this moment it feels like a big mess, but we'll see how it goes.
 
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Ags11

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Now that I see the progress over the months I can see that carpet has done quite a lot of growing! I think all the plants individually look healthy and you don’t mention algae so on the whole it sounds like the tank is headed in the right direction.

you mention on another thread the Alternanthera shed a lot of leaves on planting. I wouldn’t be too worried - the same happened with my AR Mini plants, but they are going strong now. Mine still look like autumn leaves, but maybe that is partly because my LEDs are only white and blue.
 

lilirose

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13 Aug 2020
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Location
Ireland
Now that I see the progress over the months I can see that carpet has done quite a lot of growing! I think all the plants individually look healthy and you don’t mention algae so on the whole it sounds like the tank is headed in the right direction.

you mention on another thread the Alternanthera shed a lot of leaves on planting. I wouldn’t be too worried - the same happened with my AR Mini plants, but they are going strong now. Mine still look like autumn leaves, but maybe that is partly because my LEDs are only white and blue.


As I have run low-tech tanks for years, I suspect my tolerance for algae is higher than most. There is certainly a bit but it's not problematic- I am actively avoiding cleaning the glass on sides and back for the sake of the shrimp.

I think the Alternanthera looks a little perkier this evening than it did when I took that photo. Will update when there's something worth seeing.
 

lilirose

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13 Aug 2020
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Tank looks great, please could you tell me the name of the plants in the back left corner?

Thank you! The green one is Pogostemon erectus, the pink one added in the last photo is Alternanthera reineckii 'Rosanervig'. Both are in vitro and looked pretty sorry on planting.

BTW, I just realised that @Ags11 thought I was complaining that the Alternanthera looks like autumn leaves. I was actually complaining because they look very crumpled, unlike what I see in other people's tanks- the "autumn leaves" bit is lovely, it's the reason I chose that plant. They are slowly improving, and hope once they get some roots down I will see a quick improvement (as I did with the Pogostemon).
 

Ags11

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9 Sep 2020
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Netherlands
I have seen AR Mini plants look redder in other tanks than they do in mine. I am guessing that is down to better care and RGB lights. But they are red enough to provide the contrast I was looking for vs the greens in my tank!
 

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