33 Gallon Tank
I used a 33 gallon tank at work for a photo shoot, and after the shoot was over, decided to set it up...
The tank plastic frame was melted and cracked on top from the shoot lighting, so... I removed it and cleaned up the edges. Viola- instant rimless tank.
Planted tank guru Tom Barr, (www.barrreport.com) demonstrated a method of planting typically difficult to get started foreground plants (HC, glosso, etc.) in wet substrate, and then getting them going emmersed. I decided to give it a try, knowing full well there would be two months of "When are you going to put water in it?" questions.
The substrate is 2" of dirt topped with 2" of Eco-complete.
Two weeks in, and it seems to working.
I planted HC, pygmy chain sword, and water clover, added water up to the level of the substrate, put the lights on a timer, covered it up and let it go.
Dec 22nd - Jan 5th pics:
Whole tank, under 130 watts 6500k cf lights.
The HC is taking off, easily doubling in size in two weeks. Another month at this rate, and the bottom should be completely covered.
The tops of the water clover dried out but there is good new growth around the base.
The pygmy chain sword leaves melted in the less swampy areas it was planted. So, It looks like the 6"x6" patch I bought was actually grown under water (go figure).
After the leaves melted, I removed most of the decaying mat and, underneath, was a forrest of new shoots. Looks like the roots are doing just fine... Next time, I'll try trimming the leaves down to nubs and just burying the root mass.
I'll update again in a few weeks.
Or... several months later!
Well, the drystart method didn't work for me. I let the tank get too wet and had a fluffy white mold attack.
So I filled up the tank, added plants the old fashioned way. Since the tank was already cycled, I went ahead and added some fish.
I floated a big bunch of American Pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides) on top. I love the way they stick up above the rim. A couple Anubias, some Wisteria, a couple small vals. The micro sword is doing nothing in the back ground, and the remaining dry start baby tears and glosso turned into flagfish and mollie food.
The first fish added were half a dozen flagfish fry and a sad little goup of balloon bodies redeye tetras.
Balloon body redeyes, the result of misguided breeding.
Next, some mollies.
Couple months later, black background, plants grown in a bit.
Flagfish getting big.
With mollies and platys comes babies. Baby sailfins.
About a year later, the tank now houses altums, neons, a couple flagfish, anubias, water wisteria, vals, baby tears, snails.
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