Update on the 20g Planted Tank

The guppies are getting bigger! They’re darkening up nicely (all but one, which is remaining a cute pale see through yellow and orange) and their tails are getting lovely and long and flowy. They are starting to chase each other quite a lot as territories get settled and thankfully, as of yet, there are no babies or signs of pregnancy! This is a very good thing.

The echinodorus is growing nicely, but is battling for sunlight a bit due to the explosive mass of duckweed. We are having to throw a good few handfuls of this away every week, and give some to the goldfish for a yummy treat as it just grows so fast!  It’s what I wanted though and I’m still a duckweed fan. Thinking of sectioning off part of the surface of the tank so that the duckweed only grows over a certain area thus providing a shaded spot in the tank for the lower light growing plants and giving the Amazon sword the light it needs to continue to grow.

I have also added a load of cabomba to the tank. It’s a lovely big fluffy plant which has provided loads of  hiding spots for the guppies. This is good if the males fighting for territories get a little too aggressive.

Otocinclus tonight! Very excited.

The Start of a Planted Tank

Whilst my tank is cycling (which I’m almost inclined to say it has done, as we’re getting small signs of nitrates and only the slightest traces of ammonia and nitrite left) I decided that I wanted to start getting it planted!

This is the first planted tank I have done, so it is going to be a huge experience filled with trial and error. I have been researching what plants I think might do well in my tank and have gotten the lighting sorted. Our substrate is only gravel and is therefore not preferable for a lot of plants, but there are still some which will thrive al right in my environment. Also I wanted plants which didn’t necessarily require CO2 supplements in the water as I thought this would simply be another thing to have to consider and for starting off, I decided to try and use plants which didn’t need this. Lastly, I bought a piece of bogwood for some plants to attach their roots to and to grow on.

Java fern on the left and then the anubias in the middle will both be attached to the bogwood so that their roots can settle and hopefully they will attach themselves properly. There are plenty of grooves to wedge them into and if they don’t stay put, I’ll tie them with rubber bands or something similar. Then the echinodorus on the right I’m really not sure about. I have never heard of it before, but the man in the shop said he had never heard of the plant I actually wanted and I’ve not seen it anywhere else either, so the echinodorus is going to be a little bit of a waiting game to see if it actually survives. I am going to plant that in the substrate and I’ve got some liquid fertilizer and hopefully it should be ok.

Here is the malaysian bogwood that will also be put in my tank. I soaked it in boiled water for 24hours in a bucket because the wood releases tannins into the water and so the water will turn a tea-like colour. This isn’t harmful for the life in the tank, but can look unsightly (if not very natural!). I would have let it soak for longer but got really impatient and wanted my plants NOW so it’s going in the tank with my anubias and java fern. It doesn’t matter if it colours the water in my tank anyway; it would eventually disappear in a few weeks.

Lastly, I will put in some of the marimo moss balls I had from my betta tanks which got removed and left to dry out. So here it is, the start of my planted tank!