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26g tank plans - fish and plants
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2010.10.07(Thu)7:24    Post subject: 26g tank plans - fish and plants Reply with quote

I'm very unhappy with my tank... mostly because I haven't taken the time to stock it properly with plants. I've never been any good at choosing plants and designing a nice aquascape... so I decided to ask for help here. Very Happy

The tank is a 26g flat back hex tank. It is my infamous "dumpster tank." The dimensions of the tank are here: http://www.aquahobby.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=53216 and an example of what kind of plant growth I've had in the past is here: http://www.aquahobby.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=53364&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=dumpster

Lighting is as follows: T5 HO Fixture that accommodates two 39w bulbs (6700K) for a total wattage of 78w.

I plan on doing DIY C02 and dosing with dry ferts. My pH is 7.6 but does tend to drop down a bit with CO2 injection. Temp is around 75*F. Filtration is an Eheim 2215 so there is quite a bit of current in the tank.

Currently, I have about 7 harlequin rasboras and 7 c. leucomelas in there, as well as a ton of unwanted ramshorn snails. The plants look terrible... mostly because it's just a mishmash of stuff I had left from my low light betta tanks: an anubais with holes throughout the leaves, java moss that is disgusting (overgrown and full of algae, etc.), and a few sprigs of Bacopa monnieri.

Stock plans for the tank include upping the numbers of my rasbora and corydora schools slightly and adding a pair of Betta albimarginata. I'm also thinking of adding some shrimp... and possibly some Otocinclus cocama (provided I have room and can be SURE my water conditions are right for them... I haven't had luck with otos in the past).

I will likely order plants from sweetaquatics.com, but really have no clue what direction to go in.

Please feel free to comment on my stocking plan and suggest plants and an aquascape. I will post pics later of the different pieces of driftwood I have to work with. Smile
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Caton
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Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Location: Washington State, USA

PostPosted: 2010.10.07(Thu)7:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would go with a bunch of stems with maybe some stauro, blyxa, hair grass, or Pgmy chain sword in the front with driftwood in the middle with some anubias, but thats just me. If you do have shrimp the Betta albimarginata will eat them, they are viscous eaters, have you seen the mouths on those guys? They are huge... And they cost $125-$200 for a pair depending on age and quality. DIY might be a little to low for that high lit of a tank, its t5 HO which pretty much voids the WPG rule. Good thinking with the dry ferts, it will save you money. Do it how you want it, its your tank.
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2010.10.07(Thu)7:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've gotten really good growth in this tank in the past with DIY C02... although I do eventually want to get a "real" setup, Wink but it's just not in the budget right now.

I have a source for the Albis. Very Happy I am not sure if I'll get a pair or not... but if I'm lucky the two I get (probably around Thanksgiving) end up to be a male and a female!
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2010.10.07(Thu)9:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess it's hard to recommend things without an idea of what you really want out of the tank.

Are you after a lot of maintainence, not much maintainence etc...

Stems will typically require trimming, rosette plants typically less so (I tend to go for these).

Any particular aquascapes that you'd like to replicate? The easiest way to get something that looks nice is to get some ideas by seeing what people have done - quick Google searches should dig up the AGA and IAPLC aquascape galleries of past years.

One thing I find helps me a lot is to get some cardboard and cut it to the size of the tank (base, back wall and one side wall), then use that as a template to play with wood/rock placement. Once you get a good hardscape, usually the plants are no problem as they just slot into the empty spots. I tend to set up 3-4 different wood/rock placements, take a picture of each one as I go and pick the one I like best when I'm done.
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2010.10.07(Thu)10:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

Basically, my goals for the tank are to have it look nice and be a pleasant environment for the fish. The Albis will appreciate a lot of plant cover, particularly if I hope to have them breed. I love carpet plants... but it's not feasible due to my lighting and substrate, as well as the fact that I also want the corydoras to be happy. They'll need some sand to play around in.

Also because of the corydoras, I'll have to have a few shallow spots of sand for them to play in... I can't really do a really thick substrate nor can I do special plant substrate.. just plain old sand.

Things I discovered looking at some tanks online were that I like "grass like" plants and a bit of moss growing on the driftwood, though I've discovered I'm not a fan of java moss. Is there another moss (or short plant that would grow on wood) that I could do instead of java moss?

I do have a few "key" driftwood pieces I want to use. I'll see if I can find pics of them to post. (They're currently both completely covered with algae/java moss so taking new pics is difficult).

Great idea googling aquascapes. I found the ADA contest and the tanks are positively breathtaking!

Here are a few of my favorites. Smile
http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2009.cgi?&op=showcase&category=0&vol=1&id=16

http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2009.cgi?&op=showcase&category=0&vol=1&id=200

http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2009.cgi?&op=showcase&category=0&vol=1&id=51

http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2009.cgi?&op=showcase&category=0&vol=1&id=181

http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2009.cgi?&op=showcase&category=0&vol=1&id=68

http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2009.cgi?&op=showcase&category=0&vol=1&id=8

http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2009.cgi?&op=showcase&category=0&vol=1&id=166

http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2009.cgi?&op=showcase&category=0&vol=1&id=71

http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2009.cgi?&op=showcase&category=0&vol=1&id=24

http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2009.cgi?&op=showcase&category=0&vol=1&id=201

My favorite (I think):
http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2009.cgi?&op=showcase&category=0&vol=1&id=70
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2010.10.07(Thu)10:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, so I'm going to have to try and clean off one of the wood pieces to take a pic, because I can't find a good pic of it. Here's the best I could find:

It's hard to see because it's covered with java moss, but it basically looks like a hand with the fingers extending downward (it's in the middle of the pic).

It's the one on the left side of this tank, just sitting at a different angle. I also have the one in the middle (well, I still have all of the pieces in this tank). I was thinking of setting the middle piece on it's end to get a bit more height.

Here's the other piece:

It's the large piece on the left side of the tank. It's considerably darker now, however.
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2010.10.07(Thu)10:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hard to gauge what the wood looks like, perhaps you could take the pieces out of the tanks to play around with the arrangement.

Grass-like and mosses sound like a good plan - grasses typically spread through runners so root fairly well even in shallow substrates and mosses don't even need substrate. Vals, Sagittaria, Helanthium sp (chain swords) etc. There are quite a few different varieties of mosses available now, most of which grow thicker and look aesthetically more pleasing than plain old java - Fissidens, weeping, christmas (like java but thicker), peacock, willow (very large "leaves") are the main standouts IMO. Perhaps add Bolbitus and java to the list - there is a narrow leaf variety of java fern that looks quite nice.

I would probably avoid stems with a shallow substrate & your plan, generally not as good at rooting themselves in and pain to replant though there are exceptions.

Have a look through the IAPLC tanks too if you can, I actually think they are more stunning than the AGA ones.
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katienaha
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Joined: 18 Dec 2009
Location: British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: 2010.10.08(Fri)3:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just re-scaped my tank, and as annoying as it is, I pulled up every single plant, put them all in a bucket with tank water, and put in a large dose of excel to help kill the algae (except the vals, they don't like lots of excel so I left them out). I cleaned off algae, cut off dying portions, and generally spent a lot of time on them.

This has resulted in much nicer looking plants, and no ammonia spikes as the leaves that were taken off were not helping the tank in any way, since they were dead/dying.

It took out the clutter, and that made it easier to re-plant.
My ludwiga was so coated in old GSP that I ended up taking the clippings from the top that were growing well, and am letting them float to send out roots so I can plant them later.

I hope these tips help when it comes to re-scaping, messy plants can be daunting.
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2010.12.22(Wed)20:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't gotten the plant situation sorted out, but I did get two Betta albimarginata tonight. Very Happy They are tiny little juvies... at least one looks like a male. So excited!
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2012.01.09(Mon)10:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bumping my old thread up because I haven't gotten around to rescaping the tank yet, but hopefully will be soon.

I'm looking for recommendations on a decent pressurized CO2 system that won't break the bank. What do you think of this one: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=23680&cmpid=03csegb&ref=3312&subref=AA&CAWELAID=1059619445
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