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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone. I wanted to share my ADA 60P tank progress journal with all of you. I have been delaying sharing because I was not satisfied with the tank for a long time. Now that I am somewhat happy with the progress, I feel confident in sharing some pictures and my thoughts behind the tank.

The details below are for my tank currently (as of April 7, 2016):

HARDWARE:
Tank: ADA 60P
Filter: Eheim 2213 + Eheim 2211
Light: Ecoxotic E-60 (W:75, R:100, G: 80, B:0)
Substrate: 9L ADA Amazonia + 1L Pool Filter Sand
Hardscape: Mix of unknown rock and Manten stone + Manzanita branches
CO2: 10 lb CO2 tank + regulator + solenoid + ADA Pollen Glass Type-2 diffuser

FAUNA:
Neon tetras - 10
Galaxy rasboras - 4
Corydoras habrosus - 10
Corydoras pygmaeus - 8
Siamese algae eater - 1

PLANTS:
(From left to right, back to front)
Pogostemon erectus
Ludwigia sp. red
Rotala rotundifolia
Rotala macrandra
Limnophila aromatica
Hygrophila pinnatifida
Alternanthera reineckii 'Rosanervig'
Staurogyne repens
Hemianthus micranthemoides
Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini'
Hemianthus callitrichoides
Vesicularia ferriei 'Weeping'
Fissidens fontanus
Eleocharis acicularis 'Mini'

SCHEDULE:
Dosing:
KNO3 (1 1/2 tsp in 100mL) - 10mL 3x a week
KH2PO4 (1 tsp in 100mL) - 10mL 3x a week
K2SO4 (1/2 tsp in 100mL) - 10mL 3x a week
Seachem Flourish - 2.5mL 3x a week
Seachem Iron - 2mL 3x a week
Seachem Equilibrium - 3/4 tsp 1x a week at water change
*Note: I came across many deficiencies over the life of the tank and constantly adjusted to come to this dosing scheme. I will likely increase the dosing again soon because I am noticing deficiencies.

Light + CO2:
Lights - 12:00PM-7:45PM
CO2 - 9:30AM-7:30PM at 3-4 bps according to my bubble counter
*Note: From the beginning my light schedule has largely remained the same (+/- 15 minutes) while CO2 is constantly being increased when deficiencies are noticed. If you're thinking about buying an ADA diffuser - DON'T. It produces large bubbles that rise quickly through the water and pop in to the atmosphere, effectively wasting a ton of CO2.

Water change:
50-70% once a week
*Note: I used to use a 3 gallon bucket to change water (~3 buckets full per change) which is pretty slow and inconvenient. Now I use a python hose and it is honestly the best investment I have ever made for the fish tank.

December 9, 2015
First I added the stones to make two mountain-like structures. Then I added sand to form a path leading to nowhere and ADA Amazonia for plants to fill up around the stones. I wish I had made slopes using the sand and soil to create more depth but as you may be able to tell, I do not have much of an artistic vision... I was convinced it just looks crappy because the plants haven't filled in so I let them grow.


December 27, 2015
I had some Manzanita branches lying around so I thought it might be nice to add them to the scape to tie it together. I also changed the foreground from Micranthemum umbrosum 'Monte Carlo' to Eleocharis acicularis 'Mini' and Pogostemon helferi. Plants grew in and it was still looking crappy to me. *Note: I still did not have CO2 running in the tank at this point because I didn't want to go and get my CO2 tank filled, however the plants still grew pretty decently.


February 2, 2016
Big time-leap from the last picture. Plants grew in more and I was a little happier with it but still not something I was too proud of. Looked like I just threw in a whole bunch of plants and grew them where I had space. Finally added CO2 at some point before this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
March 3, 2016
Major rescape! I was running out of space for plants to grow and I did not like having so much sand in the tank so I replaced the sand in the back and left side with ADA Amazonia. One thing I really disliked about the sand was that the soil always found its way to it and mixed to make it look like a mess. Still not happy with the tank at this point though.


March 13, 2016
Added Manten stone to separate the soil and the sand so I wouldn't have to deal with the mixing as much. I was getting decent growth but all the stem plant bushes looked so sparse.


March 28, 2016
Finally learned to cut the stems, remove the bottoms and replant the plants in order to have the stems grow in a nicely placed fashion (see Pogostemon erectus on the left). The tank was originally in my living room which has yellow walls but I moved it to my bedroom which has dark walls. The difference is insane! I should have added a dark background to my tank a loooooong time ago and I will definitely look in to adding black vinyl or black paint to the back of my planted tanks in the future. At this point I am feeling a lot better about my tank and I have learned a lot over the 4 months that it has been running.


Thanks for reading! If you have any suggestions of stem plants that I can put between the Rotala macrandra and Limnophila aromatica please let me know!
 

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Wow, this is just so great Matt. Nice work. I love seeing fish tanks slowly but surely come together. Cant wait to see more.
And yeah, I started using black backgrounds ever since I got into planted tanks and I can't go back.

Keep it up!
 

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Yup! Getting a planted tank to the way you want it to is a learning process. But looks like you are getting the hang of it!
Looks great! I like the pool of white in the front instead of the prior path. I think it looks much more proportionate to the plants you keep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, this is just so great Matt. Nice work. I love seeing fish tanks slowly but surely come together. Cant wait to see more.
And yeah, I started using black backgrounds ever since I got into planted tanks and I can't go back.

Keep it up!
Thanks! The tank will likely keep changing with different plants and hardscape until I am happy with it.

Yup! Getting a planted tank to the way you want it to is a learning process. But looks like you are getting the hang of it!
Looks great! I like the pool of white in the front instead of the prior path. I think it looks much more proportionate to the plants you keep.
Thank you Lawson! I'm hoping I become better with arranging hardscape and sand/substrate so that I will eventually be able to make proper 'mountains' and paths. I just picked up another 60P so maybe I will start another tank :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
July 9, 2016
Over the past few months I began to neglect the tank because I just wasn't happy with it. Tore out the carpet and redid it. I forgot how slow it grows!


July 21, 2016
Removed all the sand and changed out the rocks for Manten stone and I am much happier with how it looks. It will still take a couple months to fill in. I don't think I want to keep the tank with two carpets but haven't decided whether to stick with DHG or HC.


Thanks for reading!
 
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