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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I haven't had a tank in a few years since I was travelling back and forth while going to school, but now have a chance to start one up at work now that I have a permanent job, so decided to start a tank journal to show progress.

Here's the equipment list:
40 gallon breeder tank with glass top and stand (Thanks to BCAquaria member Colin for this :) ).
Ebo Jager 250 W heater
Eheim Pro II 2026 Filter
Coralife 2 x 96 W PC Fixture (with 2 x 11,000 K bulbs)

Planned eventual fish stocking list:
8 x Corydoras sterbai
8 x Otocinclus sp.
12 x Hemigrammus blether/rhodostomus
3-4 x Apistogramma cacatuoides (1 x male, 2-3 x female)
+/- 4 x Mikrogeophagus ramirezi (german blue rams, maybe)

Attached pics are tank set up with substrate (Seachem Fluorite Dark) but no water. Sorry, first post with picture in it, just trying to read FAQ's to figure out how to embed image in post.

Pic is from June 29, 2018

--> Figured out posting pics now:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Looking forward to see how this transforms :)! If you're planning to use stem plants I would be a bit careful - be sure to add plenty of root tabs. I think Seachem Fluorite takes time to absorb all the nutrients into it.
Thanks! I forgot to mention I also have a thin layer of potting soil below the fluorite, so I should be covered for iron, etc. for awhile. Stem plants will be not too numerous in general, and most species will be compact-ish.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Here is a pic of the tank with water in it and the driftwood to be used under a rock (haha) to get it waterlogged while cycling the tank. Pic is from July 19, 2018.



and threw a couple Ludwigia repent stems in from a LFS while I was waiting for my plant order from theplantguy. :) Pic from August 7, 2018.

 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
August 9, 2018

Plants!



So plants received to put in:
Eleocharis acicularis "mini"
Pogostemon helferi
Cryptocoyne wendtii Bronze "Tropica"
Heteranthera zosterifolia
Rotala wallichii
Staurogyne repens
Alternanthera reineckii "mini"
Nymphaea zenkeri

First time I've purchased from the plant guy and first time I've ordered Tropica's 1-2-grow plants and I was impressed with both. The 1-2-grow pots had a surprising amount of plants/stems in them and were in awesome, other than the A reineckii, most of which melted over the next week except for a few stems, but I was able to get some more shortly after (more on that later).

Here's a pic of the tank right after adding all the plants. Driftwood still weighed down in the middle, but I'll have a pic of it in its final resting place in a future post.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
August 13

Added 4 C. sterbai as first fish. Took a few minutes to settle down but then were cruising around the tank looking for food.



August 16

Picked up some more plants from bcaquaria member stan6595 (Thanks again for the plants!:) ). Got generous amounts of Alternanthera reineckii "mini", Rotala "Vietnam H'ra", Bacon carolinians and Hemianthus micranthemoides. Looking good, but I may have to cut a few species once everything goes in. Driftwood was waterlogged enough to put it where I want it now too.

 

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Nice looking tank I recently just started mine up again also, just had one relevant comment that you might want some sand for Corys since they sift and can hurt their barbels on hard substrate.


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Discussion Starter #8
Nice looking tank I recently just started mine up again also, just had one relevant comment that you might want some sand for Corys since they sift and can hurt their barbels on hard substrate.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely keep an eye out for that. I haven't had any issues with keeping corys on gravel before and these ones look to be not having any problems so far, but I will be sure to keep a close eye on them. I'll be sure to keep checking out your tank journal too. :)
 

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Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely keep an eye out for that. I haven't had any issues with keeping corys on gravel before and these ones look to be not having any problems so far, but I will be sure to keep a close eye on them. I'll be sure to keep checking out your tank journal too. :)
Might be a chance thing just from what I noticed when I kept Corys on eco complete and what others have told me, they had their barbels injured because they true to sift the gravel. Also sounds good I'll be keeping up with yours as well haha mine right now is very plain haha.

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Discussion Starter #10
August 18

Added 6 otos. They started chowing down on the algae right away, did an awesome job cleaning up the driftwood.





August 22

FTS


Left Side


Right Side


P helferi along the right front corner


Another shot of the corys
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Couple quick updates from the past week or so

Sept. 3

Added 8 rummy nose tetras. Took a day to settle in but were then schooling like I hoped. Other fish seemed to be more boisterous once they were in too. I think eventually I'll up the total rummynose count to 12

A few of them once they were settled in.


And a FTS from the same day.


Sept. 5

Picked up some Marsilea from bcaquaria member EDGE (Thanks Eric!:)) and a trio (one male, two females) of Apistogramma cacatuoides "orange flash" from bcaquaria member arash53 (thanks!). I think they look great in my tank! The Apistos took a few days to lose their shyness and start eating, but now they are eating well and cruising around the tank.

Couple shots of the new Apistos.





I'll try to get a new FTS up next week. :)
 

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Looking great , nice Apistos :) lol
Couple quick updates from the past week or so

Sept. 3

Added 8 rummy nose tetras. Took a day to settle in but were then schooling like I hoped. Other fish seemed to be more boisterous once they were in too. I think eventually I'll up the total rummynose count to 12

A few of them once they were settled in.


And a FTS from the same day.


Sept. 5

Picked up some Marsilea from bcaquaria member EDGE (Thanks Eric!:)) and a trio (one male, two females) of Apistogramma cacatuoides "orange flash" from bcaquaria member arash53 (thanks!). I think they look great in my tank! The Apistos took a few days to lose their shyness and start eating, but now they are eating well and cruising around the tank.

Couple shots of the new Apistos.





I'll try to get a new FTS up next week. :)
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Discussion Starter #16
September 28

Couple pics from the end of last week. Did some changes to the scape and took some plants out to give to my brother when I visited on the weekend, so the scape looks a bit different now. Will post an update when I get a chance.











 

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Discussion Starter #17
October 5

Just a quick update with new scape. Mainly took out a few species and moved AR mini over to right. Also took the driftwood out and gave a good scrub to get rid of some algae. I did a quick sketch of the planting zones, posted in last pic.









 

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Discussion Starter #18
Oct. 30, 2018

Quick update: added 4 german blue rams and a couple each of otos and Sterbai corys to round out my numbers.

Pic of the new rams settling in:



And updated FTS:



I am now finished with stocking, and here is my final list:

8 x Corydoras sterbai

8 x Otocinclus sp.

12 x Hemigrammus bleheri
4 x Apistogramma cacatuoides (1 male, 2 female)

4 x Mikrogeophagus ramirezi

And current plant list:

Eleocharis acicularis "mini"

Pogostemon helferi

Cryptocoyne wendtii Bronze "Tropica"

Heteranthera zosterifolia

Rotala wallichii

Staurogyne repens

Alternanthera reineckii red "mini"

Nymphaea zenkeri
Rotala "Vietnam"
Marsilea crenata
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Quick update on my tank, with some pics from last week:

November 28

FTS, things starting to fill in:



Right Side


Left Side


P helferi starting to look bushy


As is the Staurogyne...


But the carpets of E acicularis mini and Marsilea are growing painfully slow, as is the typical downfall of low-tech/co2-less tanks
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Small update from last week:

December 5, 2018

I wanted to change up the left side of the scape, and felt like I needed some more dark green and something with bigger leaves. Threw in a small chunk of driftwood with some Anubias, and I hadn't ever had Bucephalandra before as it was not as big last time I had a planted tank (~10 years ago or so) so added some of that to the log.

A shot of the plants and wood outside of the tank after attaching the plants.



And some pics of it in its spot in the tank.



 
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