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El Diablo

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Yeah, took down all the equipment yesterday and I'll work on the tank this week. Looking to get back in to the hobby but not until I'm in my forever home in a few years. Not a good bye completely.

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I feel ya. I can't get setup the way I want to here, and I'll be moving in the next 5-7 years (slightly possible it's 3-5 years) as well.

I keep thinking I could do a little nano reef, but I can't keep my habit in control with just that. Once I move it'll be a proper 300g reef of some sort. Might be pick and choose for a while, and build as you go, but it'll be 300g display, prob 100g sump/res.

 

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I feel ya. I can't get setup the way I want to here, and I'll be moving in the next 5-7 years (slightly possible it's 3-5 years) as well.
I keep thinking I could do a little nano reef, but I can't keep my habit in control with just that. Once I move it'll be a proper 300g reef of some sort. Might be pick and choose for a while, and build as you go, but it'll be 300g display, prob 100g sump/res.
 
Now we're talking. Would love to have a big tank like that.

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On 9/16/2020 at 7:54 PM, Mother mopar said:

Here's to the next build...fc1aba1e6d199dd073d19b17490acd28.jpg

 

Before I put 1000s of $ into a reef I'll spend that much on a generator.  Slower start but you'll never lose anything due to power loss.  

 

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Someone help me with cloudy water. My betta tank has progressively more cloudy but clear not green or otherwise colored water. I have the test strips from tetra that tell me all of the nitrite, chlorine, hardness pH, nitrate and alkalinity levels are normal.

The betta seems happy, he just swims around and blows bubbles and eats. I have been intentionally trying to remove any food that is not eaten. I just added some fresh water yesterday that I made sure to treat with conditioner and let sit for a while.

I have read that some clouding of the water is fine and due to bacteria levels and should clear. I have also read elsewhere that it could mean my filter isn't working, but the filter pump continuously running and only a few weeks old.

Advice?

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Clouding never cleared much despite partial water changes.

Betta was laying low at the bottom of the tank not moving, but breathing. Hasn't eaten in a few days (ignores food). Everything I read says that if they breathe heavy they could be sick. Not sure if he was breathing heavy but he looked sick. Read that most likely cause is ammonia levels, except my test strips don't test for ammonia, only all the other stuff (tetra 6 in 1 strips) which all shows up as normal.

He stayed at the bottom of the tank tonight but had a little side lean to him so I had to take action. Ordered tetra ammonia test strips. Did a change of about 50% of the water tonight, making sure to remove all fake plants and rinse them off before replacing.

We'll see if he's alive in the morning.

Wtf I thought fish were easy.

Advice please, aquarium people.

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This morning he's laying on his side in the infirmary (aka the silk plant leaf), breathing heavily. See gif

When I get home I assume he'll be better or dead. Ammonia strips arrive today.
1a03032c36af9aed8b6e80f9c90f20f7.jpgb33dc848edb48a8c9ef4291b1f4eec27.gif

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Is something in your water handling sequence (your hands, the sink, tubing, containers, scoops, etc, potentially contaminated by soap residue? Soap is very lethal to fish. How much are you feeding each time, and what frequency? Overfeeding is also quickly lethal. We're missing something, so back to the basics.

Bettas are incredibly hardy fish that require very little in environment and you've lost 2 of them. You could literally get a pot from the kitchen, wash and rinse it well, put in bottled water, keep it away from direct sun, and keep a Betta in it for months.

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11 hours ago, Horny04 said:


 

It’s not ammonia with all your water changes.  Take a pic of the amount you feed a day.  Put it in your hand for scale and take a pic of it.  
 

What’s your filter?  When you clean the filter you aren’t using tap water and soap are you?  

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Don’t clean or wash anything in inside the aquarium.  Just water changes.  What product are you using to treat your water?  The name.  How do you know the filter is working?  Did you put your fingers in there to feel the flow of water?  

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Don’t clean or wash anything in inside the aquarium.  Just water changes.  What product are you using to treat your water?  The name.  How do you know the filter is working?  Did you put your fingers in there to feel the flow of water?  
I assumed the filter is working because I could see the flow of water and I recently switched out the carbon filter thing and the side that the old water was sucked through looked dirty vs the other side.

I use imagitarium betta water conditioner.

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Also I used the test strip for ammonia yesterday. This was after a half tank water exchange the night prior. The strip didn't indicate ammonia was at zero but it was in that square of color just adjacent to it, indicating it was almost at unsafe levels. So I'm assuming that was the issue?

Problem is the fish is dead already this morning. Dammit.

So now what? When I get a replacement for my daughter, what should I do differently? Do I need to completely remove and clean everything? Or can I keep the water and bacteria in there, treat for ammonia and start with a new fish? If I start fresh with a clean tank, how long until I add the new fish? Do I need other stuff like that bacteria culture stuff to add to the tank?

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My advice would be to "cycle" the tank before buying a new fish. Takes about 5 weeks for me, you mileage may vary depending on your source water. Dr Tim's ammonium chloride is what I use. 

What has your water temperature been? Is it constant?

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My tank is small. Like 2 gallons. I have to wait weeks??

Temp is a constant 82 with a small heater in it.

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I kind of doubt that nitrates are an issue since the fish can breathe atmospheric oxygen but just letting the tank simmer for a while with something in it to stimulate some bacteria might help to stabilize the environment. I started with Betta's years ago and even I didn't have the bad luck you're having and I was doing nothing different from what you've described.  The first few I didn't even have a heater and they survived for a year or more. I think I finally froze them during the summer by having the temp cranked way down on the AC. 

Maybe the next fish don't feed him for the first week. I go on vacation and my fish don't get fed, they don't die from it. At least by starting out with no food being added you'll eliminate that as a possible source of your initial troubles. I feed my Bettas a pellet food, no more than 4-6 of the tiny pellets a day. 

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One other thought I had, you said that you are keeping the tank at 82 deg. Is that the temp setting on the heater or is that an observed temperature? Asking because it's really hard to maintain a constant temp in 2 gallons of water with most heaters. They'll let the water cool to maybe 76 before they cut on and then heat it to 85 before they cut off. That's a fairly significant swing for a tropical fish. 

I use cheap ass Zacro digital thermometers to monitor temps. They can be off by a bit, maybe half a degree from another thermometer, but they're close enough to gauge when something's not right. 

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It's always on. Every time I check the temp it's about 82. They say betta like 78-82.

I've left the tank without the fish after a 50% change few days ago. All tests strips including ammonia are normal. Thinking I'll get a new betta tomorrow and see how it goes. Gonna feed once every couple of days.

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On 10/10/2020 at 5:56 PM, Horny04 said:

It's always on. Every time I check the temp it's about 82. They say betta like 78-82.

I've left the tank without the fish after a 50% change few days ago. All tests strips including ammonia are normal. Thinking I'll get a new betta tomorrow and see how it goes. Gonna feed once every couple of days.

Always on? It should cycle on and off around the target temp. Check the temp every 2 hours with a digital thermometer for a while and chart that. What are you using to check the temp? 

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My betta is on a hunger strike. I have offered him a pellet per day this entire week and he hasn't eaten one. It's been a week since I got him and he hasn't eaten once. I take the pellets out after 20 minutes to avoid polluting the water. Wtf.

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Just keep doing what you're doing. He'll eat when he's ready, fish rarely die from starving themselves. Too, every fish is different. I've had Bettas that took a couple of weeks to get settled and others that acted like they'd been living in my aquarium their whole life. Never know.

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ask what he ate at the store
 
Wife is heading to the pet store today to ask this question and buy whatever food they were feeding him. He's a pretty active fish otherwise, seems healthy.

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Decided to get back in to the aquarium scene this week. Had a JBJ Nano cube reef for a few years, but dismantled it once my kids came in to the equation. Now that they're a little older I can set some time aside to tend to a tank and introduce them to aquariums like my dad did with me. Decided to do a planted aquarium this time. Picked this setup at Aquarium Design Group here in the Pearland/Houston area. Went with a 20G rimless/Eheim Classic/Twin Star Light II LED/Lily Tube w skimmer. Going to dose it with Pro-SE series CO2 system with in line diffuser. Hopefully that will be in this week and will head back to the store to scape the tank. I never realized how expensive freshwater was going to be, but it's worth it once it's up and running. 

 

IMG_5787.jpg

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18 hours ago, BabaBooey said:

Decided to get back in to the aquarium scene this week. Had a JBJ Nano cube reef for a few years, but dismantled it once my kids came in to the equation. Now that they're a little older I can set some time aside to tend to a tank and introduce them to aquariums like my dad did with me. Decided to do a planted aquarium this time. Picked this setup at Aquarium Design Group here in the Pearland/Houston area. Went with a 20G rimless/Eheim Classic/Twin Star Light II LED/Lily Tube w skimmer. Going to dose it with Pro-SE series CO2 system with in line diffuser. Hopefully that will be in this week and will head back to the store to scape the tank. I never realized how expensive freshwater was going to be, but it's worth it once it's up and running. 

 

IMG_5787.jpg

Good to see someone else get into the planted freshwater game. I've never taken the plunge into CO2, my feeling being I'm more about the livestock than the vegetables. A rancher, not a farmer. :) Good luck! Any thought on what to stock it with yet? 

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7 hours ago, El Diablo said:

Good to see someone else get into the planted freshwater game. I've never taken the plunge into CO2, my feeling being I'm more about the livestock than the vegetables. A rancher, not a farmer. :) Good luck! Any thought on what to stock it with yet? 

Probably go with an assortment of fish. I see too many planted tanks with one species in a large group. I'm looking to do a community tank with leopard tux male guppies, a yellow king tiger pleco, blue emperor tetras and peppered cory cats. May throw in a few red crystal shrimp too.  

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2 hours ago, BabaBooey said:

Probably go with an assortment of fish. I see too many planted tanks with one species in a large group. I'm looking to do a community tank with leopard tux male guppies, a yellow king tiger pleco, blue emperor tetras and peppered cory cats. May throw in a few red crystal shrimp too.  

Sounds like a good collection to me. I've got mostly livebearers but also a pleco, a Pearl Gourami, mixed bunch of Cory cats and a Betta in my 55. A 20 gallon with a mutt mix of Endler's guppies. 

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4 hours ago, El Diablo said:

Sounds like a good collection to me. I've got mostly livebearers but also a pleco, a Pearl Gourami, mixed bunch of Cory cats and a Betta in my 55. A 20 gallon with a mutt mix of Endler's guppies. 

We got my daughter a beta a few months ago. I'll probably end up throwing him in there too to get out of the 5 Gal tank. 

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On 10/27/2020 at 2:27 PM, BabaBooey said:

Probably go with an assortment of fish. I see too many planted tanks with one species in a large group. I'm looking to do a community tank with leopard tux male guppies, a yellow king tiger pleco, blue emperor tetras and peppered cory cats. May throw in a few red crystal shrimp too.  

 

https://aquaticarts.com/

 

 

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On 10/29/2020 at 9:14 PM, PRONG HORN said:

 

https://aquaticarts.com/

 

 

I was looking at them for livestock not to long ago. Seems they are out of stock on a bunch of things like most online vendors. Might split up purchases from them, Aqua Hun and Live Aquaria. 

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I've had good luck with AquaBid, for the most part. Did have one dipshit seller and we ended up calling the deal off so only thing I was out was my time and frustration of dealing with a dumbass but if you know what you want and what it should cost then they are generally as reliable as anyone. Of course we're going into colder months now so shipping can be iffy. 

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Any recs on pump brands?

quiet, and need a 400gph flow after it chews through 4-5ft of head height. 
 

Been looking at an eco plus 633, or a sicce sync-something 3.0.

 

 

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On 10/27/2020 at 12:27 PM, BabaBooey said:

Probably go with an assortment of fish. I see too many planted tanks with one species in a large group. I'm looking to do a community tank with leopard tux male guppies, a yellow king tiger pleco, blue emperor tetras and peppered cory cats. May throw in a few red crystal shrimp too.  

Speaking of plants, I needed some new floaters for my 55 and that reminded me that I wanted to mention to you the place that I've been buying my plants for the last couple of years. plantedaquariumscentral.com  Unfortunately COVID kinda killed them this year and they are closed until early next year but Heather, the gal that runs it, is doing good work there. The website isn't fancy but the plants that I've bought there, and they have been numerous, have all been really high quality and she almost always throws in a little something extra. They're in AZ so I try to take into account the time of year as far as weather and shipping conditions but I've never been disappointed by what I've gotten from them. Like most stores there are times when they are out of items and they're family run so they close a few times a year for regrouping and whatever. I have used buceplant.com for the obvious. They're expensive as shit and frankly I don't get the love for the little plants that seemed to be all the rage but just thought I'd mention them too. 

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Nice to see a few planted tank people commenting, because I could use some feedback/suggestions on an algae problem I'm fighting.  Apologies for the lengthy post.

I've been keeping a 20 gallon tank with my 4th grader for a couple years with neon tetras, cory catfish, some snails and marimo moss balls in it.  This summer we got interested in live plants and added an anubias nana and vallisneria in early September.  The val was spreading slowly and the anubias leaves started turning light green with dark veins, so in the beginning of October I started lightly adding Flourish and added a decent light.  Throughout all of this the nitrates were increasing steadily, 10->20->30->40 ppm in subsequent weeks with 25% water change.  So I started more frequent changes to keep the nitrates steady.

At the end of October we were going out of town for 2 weeks.  To make sure the nitrates wouldn't get out of control, I did a series of changes the week before to get them around 10 ppm before we left.  I also setup an automatic feeder and reduced the food (we were probably feeding too much anyway) and had the light on a timer 10 hours per day.  When we left, we had a bit of brown algae that I was waiting for the snails to attack, but nothing else really.  When we got back home Nov 8th the tank was pretty well covered in algae.  Brown algae on the plants, a carpet of green algae on the glass and black beard algae on the filter, driftwood and fake plants.  It looked pretty gross when we walked in.  I tested the nitrates and then were still right around 10 ppm after two weeks.

After thinking on it, I can only think of a couple things that changed while we were gone.  1) I wasn't adding Flourish those 2 week and 2) I had reduced the food.  Would it make sense that this created a "nutrient deficient" environment that allowed the algae the pop up?  Would algae have stayed dormant when the tank had lots of nitrates, only to attack once the nitrates were lower?  That doesn't completely make sense to me, but it's my best guess at this point.

So, here's my plan of attack so far:

  • I removed and bleached all the rocks, driftwood, artificial plants, filter (just the intake tube)¬†and the anubias to get rid of the black beard algae
  • The things I couldn't remove, I spot treated with hydrogen peroxide while the filter wasn't running
  • I scraped most of the green algae off the glass (I read later that it may be better to let it mature for 3-4 weeks and then manually wipe it out so it doesn't release new algae spores in the water)
  • I restarted my regular weekly water changes and light Flourish dosing
  • I added a few otocinclus catfish to attack the algae (they've already gone to town on the brown algae)
  • I'm going to monitor for a couple weeks; If things aren't trending in the right direction I'll try cutting the light back to 8 hours a day
  • I also thought about adding some kind of floating plant to block some light, but don't want to introduce too many variables

Anything else I should be trying to get this under control and balanced out?  Any other theories on what might have caused things to go haywire so quickly?

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7 hours ago, fuggled said:

Anything else I should be trying to get this under control and balanced out?  Any other theories on what might have caused things to go haywire so quickly?

You could try using RODI water from a local reef shop for water changes.  It wont have any phosphate in it which could help.  Try half tap half water half RODI and see what that does.  If you're testing nitrate go ahead and test ph..  You could try to get your ph somewhere between 6-7.  

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Anybody in the DFW area want a 37ish gallon tank + stand for cheap? I'm moving into another rental for at least another year and just can't keep breaking the thing down constantly.

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On 11/18/2020 at 7:03 AM, fuggled said:

Nice to see a few planted tank people commenting, because I could use some feedback/suggestions on an algae problem I'm fighting.  Apologies for the lengthy post.

I've been keeping a 20 gallon tank with my 4th grader for a couple years with neon tetras, cory catfish, some snails and marimo moss balls in it.  This summer we got interested in live plants and added an anubias nana and vallisneria in early September.  The val was spreading slowly and the anubias leaves started turning light green with dark veins, so in the beginning of October I started lightly adding Flourish and added a decent light.  Throughout all of this the nitrates were increasing steadily, 10->20->30->40 ppm in subsequent weeks with 25% water change.  So I started more frequent changes to keep the nitrates steady.

At the end of October we were going out of town for 2 weeks.  To make sure the nitrates wouldn't get out of control, I did a series of changes the week before to get them around 10 ppm before we left.  I also setup an automatic feeder and reduced the food (we were probably feeding too much anyway) and had the light on a timer 10 hours per day.  When we left, we had a bit of brown algae that I was waiting for the snails to attack, but nothing else really.  When we got back home Nov 8th the tank was pretty well covered in algae.  Brown algae on the plants, a carpet of green algae on the glass and black beard algae on the filter, driftwood and fake plants.  It looked pretty gross when we walked in.  I tested the nitrates and then were still right around 10 ppm after two weeks.

After thinking on it, I can only think of a couple things that changed while we were gone.  1) I wasn't adding Flourish those 2 week and 2) I had reduced the food.  Would it make sense that this created a "nutrient deficient" environment that allowed the algae the pop up?  Would algae have stayed dormant when the tank had lots of nitrates, only to attack once the nitrates were lower?  That doesn't completely make sense to me, but it's my best guess at this point.

So, here's my plan of attack so far:

  • I removed and bleached all the rocks, driftwood, artificial plants, filter (just the intake tube)¬†and the anubias to get rid of the black beard algae
  • The things I couldn't remove, I spot treated with hydrogen peroxide while the filter wasn't running
  • I scraped most of the green algae off the glass (I read later that it may be better to let it mature for 3-4 weeks and then manually wipe it out so it doesn't release new algae spores in the water)
  • I restarted my regular weekly water changes and light Flourish dosing
  • I added a few otocinclus catfish to attack the algae (they've already gone to town on the brown algae)
  • I'm going to monitor for a couple weeks; If things aren't trending in the right direction I'll try cutting the light back to 8 hours a day
  • I also thought about adding some kind of floating plant to block some light, but don't want to introduce too many variables

Anything else I should be trying to get this under control and balanced out?  Any other theories on what might have caused things to go haywire so quickly?

It's your light, just about guarantee it. Cut it back to 50% of its full power and 3 hours a day. No need to change anything else, just give it a month or two. If anything is still hanging on at that point then you may have something you need to address with other measures but that's where I'd start. 

I haven't been in the hobby long but I've had plants all along and for the first year I had crazy algae. Turns out it was just too damn much light. now the lights come on in the late afternoon (basically just before I get off work) and are off by 8 and at reduced power. No issues and trust me, the fish do just fine without the bright light all day. The room is not dark but only has filtered indirect sunlight. Algae gone. 

You did all the right things to kick the algae's ass and knock it down but I would bet that unless and until you cut back on the light you're going to continue to have problems and probably would have had the same issue even if you had been home. I don't think it's any coincidence that this happened after getting a "better" light. 

Been there, done that (I think). :) Good luck man, my planted tanks are pretty and really, really easy now that I don't over do the light.

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On 11/18/2020 at 9:03 AM, fuggled said:

so in the beginning of October I started lightly adding Flourish and added a decent light.  

 

On 11/21/2020 at 5:24 PM, El Diablo said:

It's your light, just about guarantee it. 

 

El Diablo is right.  You added two of the three things in the plant need axis.  Light, and fertilizer.  The plants have the light to grow and the ferts to feed the growth, but no C02.   That stingray you're using is used on high tech "aquascaper nerd" tanks all the time.  It's very capable.  You could do 50% three hours a day, but I also think you could set it to between 20-40 percent and have the light on longer.  Does that model have the app or are the controls on the unit?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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El Diablo is right.  You added two of the three things in the plant need axis.  Light, and fertilizer.  The plants have the light to grow and the ferts to feed the growth, but no C02.   That stingray you're using is used on high tech "aquascaper nerd" tanks all the time.  It's very capable.  You could do 50% three hours a day, but I also think you could set it to between 20-40 percent and have the light on longer.  Does that model have the app or are the controls on the unit?


No remote on this model and the only controls are on, off and night mode. Not sure I'll be able to dim it so may just need to cut back the hours.


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5 hours ago, fuggled said:

 


No remote on this model and the only controls are on, off and night mode. Not sure I'll be able to dim it so may just need to cut back the hours.

 

 

I think the inverse square law is your friend here if you have a way to just raise the light. With some thought it can be done in a way that is visually pleasing. 

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So got the tank set up yesterday evening. Pics are from today after the cloudiness of the equilibrium and beneficial bacteria cleared. Planted some hemianthus callitrichoides "cuba" for carpet, bucephulandra red mini, staurogyne repens and some java moss on the tips of the rocks. May add a few more plants once everything gets settled. This thing will always be a work in progress I feel. Went with black mountain seiryu stone hard scape, ADA amazonia aqua soil with some ADA La Plata sand in the middle.  Probably add live stock slowly in a few weeks once I have the CO2 dialed in and my parameters are stable. Still need to install my power strip higher up and get my timers installed. Over all I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and hoping it grows in to what I envisioned. 

 

 

IMG-5914.jpg

IMG-5915.jpg

IMG-5916.jpg

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That's a good looking 'scape there. I have no eye for design or desire to grow plants, lol. I have simple stuff that gives my tank a little bit of character, nothing as challenging as what you've got there. Looks good and best of luck! 

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6 hours ago, El Diablo said:

That's a good looking 'scape there. I have no eye for design or desire to grow plants, lol. I have simple stuff that gives my tank a little bit of character, nothing as challenging as what you've got there. Looks good and best of luck! 

 

Yeah we know.  If you're taking pics and learning about composition you could also learn about composition with your tanks.  We want to see your plant composition.   

 

1776177898-Instant-Snow-Monica-thumb-jpg

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2 hours ago, PRONG HORN said:

 

Yeah we know.  If you're taking pics and learning about composition you could also learn about composition with your tanks.  We want to see your plant composition.   

 

1776177898-Instant-Snow-Monica-thumb-jpg

Haha, well if homemade gag greeting cards are the standard by which we're being measured then I'm in the lead here. 

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