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Leaving the sea to go lowtech and green

malabarpuffer

Seedling
Joined
20 Feb 2014
Messages
7
I will start my journal with a misinformed confession; I never thought I would go down the freshwater route as I thought it was boring. I can hear booing and hissing from the seats in the back. ;)

I was a marine girl through and through. My saltwater aquarium was my pride and joy, I had LPS, a beautiful malu anemone and was a big wrasse fan. There was something about having a slice of the Indonesian ocean in your house that made me incredibly happy. What didn't make me happy was the fact the closest shop worth visiting was 40 miles away, the water changes that took 3 hours out of my busy work week and the stress of potentially losing a lot of stock if something went belly-up while I was asleep. I closed my tank down, promising myself I would set it up again when I had the time and money to dedicate to a reef again. A few years have gone by and I found myself wishing I could get going, but in that time I have realised that it just wasn't practical to set up a tank that costs me more in a month than my horse does!

I popped into a Maidenhead Aquatics while I was in the area just to have a nose around and my partner, who is a fan of freshwater, dragged me over to the side I would always ignore. There I saw malabar puffers and they piqued my interest, as I love all puffer fish. I then began researching them and came across many blogs with beautiful planted tanks that looked so harmonious. They were nothing like the tropical tanks that looked like they had been picked up from Pets at Home with fluorescent gravel and a bubble chest I had seen in the past. Maybe I had underestimated what could be done with water sans salt?

After much research (I read up for 8 months before water even touched the sides with my marine projects), I decided that malabars probably weren't the ideal candidate for me to set up my first freshwater tank, due to their diet and waste issues. But I still wanted to give planted aquariums a go.

So I got out my former quarantine tank and gave it a wash. I set it up 4 days ago and considering how it used to look...
77138_10150322951365307_5448628_n.jpg


I am pretty pleased with my first foray into the freshwater world:

1509865_10154074714935307_1628053816896857621_n.jpg


The plants are eleocharis acicularis, alternanthera cardinalis, gymnocoronis spilanthoides, lobelia cardinalis and cryptocoryne moehlmannii. They were a random selection from AE and I'm very pleased with the quality of them and how easy it was to separate stems to be able to spread them out. The gymnocoronis, lobelia and alternanthera have settled in great and look healthy. The other two either need more time or tweaking.

It is only a 35l so I'm a bit limited by size in regards to fish, but at the moment I plan to keep a male betta when the tank is mature and I've got the plants and coverage I'm hoping for. The equipment is nothing fancy but was bought to accommodate the betta's needs. If I plant right, the little guy is going to be in a mansion - quite a difference to how they're kept in pet stores! :mad:

I am concerned a small singular fish will be hard to see once I've stocked the tank further, so for that reason I'm open to suggestions for fish. As I cut my teeth in the salt water world, I want something with a little colour. I'm a fan of the gouramis but I know the tank would be too small for the typical types available in stores. Any ideas, folks?

With my marine tank, I was always poking about doing maintenance or scaping and I imagine this tank won't be any different in that aspect. When I've done further research and thought more about flora stock, I'm hoping to get a carpet plant.

I'm looking forward to progressing with this tank and learning from it. I've got a 120l and 190l in storage, waiting until we move. I imagine if this project goes well, those will be set up as planted aquariums in time as well.

After droning on, I'll be surprised if anyone has actually read this as I'm hardly covering new ground. But keeping a marine journal was pretty fun, so I thought I'd start one with my new adventure, too. :shy:
 

Lindy

Member
Joined
29 Jun 2012
Messages
2,823
Location
Ayrshire, Scotland
Sparkling gourami are small but not so gaudy. Welcome by the way :)

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Andy D

Member
Joined
27 Apr 2013
Messages
1,461
Hi!

A Betta will be fine. When they know you are watching they tend to hand around at the front of the tank. They are such characters really. I liken mine to a dog. When I sneak a peak into the tank he is either floating about at the top or hiding in the foliage. As soon as he catches a glimpse of anyone in the room he is out like a shot. Bit like a dog running to its owner. :)

You have certainly found the right place for tons of info on keeping a healthy planted tank.
 

Lindy

Member
Joined
29 Jun 2012
Messages
2,823
Location
Ayrshire, Scotland
Endlers? Really bright colours. You should look at freshwater shrimp too but be careful, they are addictive!

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malabarpuffer

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
20 Feb 2014
Messages
7
Hi!

A Betta will be fine. When they know you are watching they tend to hand around at the front of the tank. They are such characters really. I liken mine to a dog. When I sneak a peak into the tank he is either floating about at the top or hiding in the foliage. As soon as he catches a glimpse of anyone in the room he is out like a shot. Bit like a dog running to its owner. :)

You have certainly found the right place for tons of info on keeping a healthy planted tank.

Ah yeah, I have heard that. I was wondering whether it was luck of the draw with bettas, or whether even the more timid individuals come round with food and a happy tank. I've always been interested in bettas, but was often put off by people saying they are hard to keep. In hindsight, the people who said that either kept them in a very small tank or in a community tank. I did consider two female bettas but I don't like running the risk of bickering, so I'd go with a lone male.[DOUBLEPOST=1399763308][/DOUBLEPOST]
Endlers? Really bright colours. You should look at freshwater shrimp too but be careful, they are addictive!

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I had a look at shrimp a while back because my shrimp in the reef tank had such fantastic personalities. However I read from a lot of sources including on here it is best to keep them in RO and that isn't possible for me right now. I would love to keep the blue shrimp in future though. Will look at Endlers, haven't heard of them before. Thanks for the welcome!
 

Lindy

Member
Joined
29 Jun 2012
Messages
2,823
Location
Ayrshire, Scotland
Yes, I loved my dwarf puffers but they aren't very colourful.

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