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Old 01-09-2013, 08:53 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by ownedbycats View Post
My tank is finally reaching the reasonably thick plants stage, and the plants DO provide decent hiding places. How well is your water sprite doing? Has it grown much? It's a stem plant, so when it gets taller than you want it to be, trim it to the height you want it, and stick the trimmed off tops into your substrate. The trimmed plants will keep growing, and the tops you cut off and stuck in the soil will grow roots and become a new plant.
It wasn't really growing (other than roots) until about a week ago when I started adding Flourish. Now it's really taking off, along with the java fern. The java had some tears in the leaves when I got it, and now there are tiny leaves and roots growing from the tears.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:09 PM   #22
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As long as all you want to grow are medium and low light plants, you should be good with the light you have, no need to add more. Just stick the lowest light plants (java fern, crypts, anubias) in the corners where the light doesn't reach as strongly, and try to plant the tank so the tallest plants aren't shading the shorter plants. (this may mean the occasional trim.)
I too have a 20L with a T8 17watt full spectrum light. I have a really nice java fern 'Windelov', a crypt spiralis, mystery crypt, crypt wendtti, vallisneria forest, and recently water sprite. Except for the water sprite, these have all been growing with just my light and weekly doses of Flourish Comprehensive since about March with no problems. (Then I made the mistake of adding 4 more hours of lighting per day, and am now battling algae, arrgh)
The nice thing about plants is that if the conditions are right and you are patient, you can start with just one, and they will multiply. I'm currently growing out 1/2 dozen baby javas, regular mixed with Windelov, my vallisneria is taking over far more than it's section of the tank (I started with 2 plants), and even the crypts are spreading slightly, although much slower.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:22 AM   #23
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I too have a 20L with a T8 17watt full spectrum light. I have a really nice java fern 'Windelov', a crypt spiralis, mystery crypt, crypt wendtti, vallisneria forest, and recently water sprite. Except for the water sprite, these have all been growing with just my light and weekly doses of Flourish Comprehensive since about March with no problems.
I am so happy to hear that! I will stop worrying about my lighting so much now. Do you have a thread set up for your tank? I'd love to see it.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:08 PM   #24
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I never did start a tank journal. I should, I have lots of pictures from set up on. I'll post the link for you when I get it up.

I should have said my tank had no problems until a month ago. Due to upheavals, my tank schedule was suddenly switched from 8 hours with the lights on to 11 hours with the lights on. It started a algae outbreak that I am only just getting under control, and required me to trim off a lot of vallisneria leaves.
Lesson: Never make sudden drastic changes to tank (water changes don't count) make changes slowly. I should have lengthened my lighting period by 10 minutes, left it that way for a few days, added another 10-15 minutes, waited a few days, etc.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:47 PM   #25
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Okay, started a thread. Only got as far as July. Will finish catching up to present day tomorrow, after I do a WC and take some pictures of the tank as it looks now. (Easier to clean glass when the water is low)
Divided 20G long: Setup-> Now
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:41 PM   #26
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Warning: gross pic.


This is what I keep seeing and getting so worries about. Is this normal for Platies, or should I be worried about worms?
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:42 PM   #27
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Warning: gross pic.

This is what I keep seeing and getting so worries about. Is this normal for Platies, or should I be worried about worms?
I don't think you should be, my platies have had some pretty long poop strands. I think that's just a common thing with platies. A lady I kept in contact with from this forum has platies and well and we've talked about the long poop strands. It's not just yours that does it!
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:18 AM   #28
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Looks like a normal platy poop I wouldn't worry unless it was white and stringy looking then that would indicate parasites.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:08 AM   #29
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Well, now that my tank is all cycled and fish are settled happily, I'm starting to plan for the rest of my plants and stock (getting really excited, haha). Especially after my visit to my first-ever LFS (what? you mean there isn't always dead fish in the tanks?). I'll never buy fish from the chain stores around here again.

Anyway, looking for some input on what I'm planning out. Tank specs again:

20 gallon long, Aqueon QuietFlow 30 filter (with some added media for more biofilter), 50 watt heater. 17 watt all-spectrum light, on 12 hours per day. Dosing Flourish Comprehensive every 5 days.

Temp: 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
Amm: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10
ph: 8.2

Current Plants:
java fern, Microsorum pteropus
water wisteria, Hygrophila difformis

Current Fish:
2 red wag platies, Xiphophorus maculatus
1 bristlenose pleco, Ancistrus cirrhosus

Need to take a current tank shot, but it still looks mostly like this except there is a rock and some driftwood to the left of center.



I have one more piece of driftwood that I think I'm going to add towards the center, it's mostly flat so I think I'm kind of going to stand it up to make it a tallish point of interest. I need a focal plant, and some more for the foreground. Also I think I don't have quite enough substrate. It's about two inches thick.

Bearing in mind this is pretty much a low/medium light tank (I can't find any higher output bulbs to fit my fixture, and replacing it is kind of out of the question at the moment), here are my ideas.

1 red flame sword for the focus plant
Cryptocoryne Parva to fill up some of the middle areas
Petite Nana Anubias for the front middle

Still need something for along the back, I think. I thought about dwarf hairgrass for the foreground but it sounded a bit hard to grow.

Proposed additional fish:

6 longfin serpae tetras
1 German Blue ram (focus fish)

Not sure about the ram. They sound kind of fussy.

And just because I was fascinated (and a bit concerned), here's a video of my baby bristlenose chasing the platies away from his algae wafer. I'm worried now that I may not be feeding my platies enough.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:03 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Bent Needle View Post
Well, now that my tank is all cycled and fish are settled happily, I'm starting to plan for the rest of my plants and stock (getting really excited, haha). Especially after my visit to my first-ever LFS (what? you mean there isn't always dead fish in the tanks?). I'll never buy fish from the chain stores around here again.

Anyway, looking for some input on what I'm planning out. Tank specs again:

20 gallon long, Aqueon QuietFlow 30 filter (with some added media for more biofilter), 50 watt heater. 17 watt all-spectrum light, on 12 hours per day. Dosing Flourish Comprehensive every 5 days.

Temp: 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
Amm: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10
ph: 8.2

Current Plants:
java fern, Microsorum pteropus
water wisteria, Hygrophila difformis

Current Fish:
2 red wag platies, Xiphophorus maculatus
1 bristlenose pleco, Ancistrus cirrhosus

Need to take a current tank shot, but it still looks mostly like this except there is a rock and some driftwood to the left of center.

I have one more piece of driftwood that I think I'm going to add towards the center, it's mostly flat so I think I'm kind of going to stand it up to make it a tallish point of interest. I need a focal plant, and some more for the foreground. Also I think I don't have quite enough substrate. It's about two inches thick.

Bearing in mind this is pretty much a low/medium light tank (I can't find any higher output bulbs to fit my fixture, and replacing it is kind of out of the question at the moment), here are my ideas.

1 red flame sword for the focus plant
Cryptocoryne Parva to fill up some of the middle areas
Petite Nana Anubias for the front middle

Still need something for along the back, I think. I thought about dwarf hairgrass for the foreground but it sounded a bit hard to grow.

Proposed additional fish:

6 longfin serpae tetras
1 German Blue ram (focus fish)

Not sure about the ram. They sound kind of fussy.

And just because I was fascinated (and a bit concerned), here's a video of my baby bristlenose chasing the platies away from his algae wafer. I'm worried now that I may not be feeding my platies enough.
See what the stores return/exchange policy is on fish. Serpae's tend to be nippy and don't have that great of attitudes. I had 6 and for two weeks they were fine, then they started chasing all my other fish and wouldn't leave them alone so they went back to LFS.
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