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Planted Tank Photos Let's see what you got! Show off your tanks here. Tank journals are encouraged!

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Old 06-11-2020, 03:03 PM   #11
ksimdjembe
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I'm really looking forward to seeing the plants grow in on this one.
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:06 PM   #12
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Thanks! My second order of plants arrived today and another is in the mail. I will post photos soon. (I cleaned the tank when I planted the new plants so the water is full of bits of stuff right now). I think the butterfly fish appreciate the Amazon frogbit I specifically bought to provide some cover in there before the plants that actually come from the Congo get big enough to take over.
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Old 06-13-2020, 04:39 PM   #13
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It's now week 3 of my build.

Light

I have increased the number of hours of light in the tank from 4 hours/day (first two weeks) at 80% of the maximum intensity to 6 hours/day at 80% of the maximum intensity. So far, there has been green hair algae growth on the Bolbitis but no green water or other major algae outbreak.

How soon should I increase the hours of light to 8 and increase the light intensity to maximum?

Plants

This week I planted the new plants, namely Anubias barteri var. nana (tied to driftwood) and Lilaeopsis mauritania, separated into bits and poked into foreground of the substrate behind the front sandy area. My catfish managed to dislodge several bits of the Lilaeopsis. I'll replant them when I change the water next. In the meantime, the loose bits are floating with the Amazon frogbit.

Amazon frogbit is obviously not native to the Congo, but I figured the butterfly fish and ctenopoma would appreciate some kind of floating plants as cover until my other plants get big enough to provide more shade.

The Nymphaeas are putting out new leaves but they're still very small. The Anubias barteri var. angustifolia put out one new leaf, and the Bolbitis has not put out any new fronds, but it has both hair algae and bits of loose slime from the driftwood trapped on it, perhaps blocking the light a bit too much.

The slime on the driftwood is about 90% gone now, thanks to a booming population of MTS.

Fish

I have seen some interesting fish behaviour in the past few days.

1. The ctenopoma hates the camera, whether it's a real camera or cell phone. When it sees it, it hides. It also hides most of the time when the tank lights are on.

2. When the lights are off, the ctenopoma can sometimes be a jerk and go after the butterfly fish. I don't know why it does this -- entertainment/boredom? Sometimes it also just hangs out with one or more of them near the surface. The rest of the time, it lurks around the driftwood. It has several preferred spots.

3. The butterfly fish don't seem to care that I put a piece of black plastic over part of the tank to create a dimmer area for them. Instead, they hang out where the frogbit is and/or next to the filter intake (full light exposure but relatively low flow area).

4. My catfish is obsessed with floating food now, even though I feed him sinking pellets or worms before I feed any of the other fish anything just so he'll stay out of the way. Yesterday I even saw him sleeping vertically, bracing his dorsal fin against the filter outflow tube to maintain his position (see attached picture). I've had him for 9 years and this was new behaviour to me. I don't know why he was doing it, but it could have been so that he could watch for floating bits of food without having to move his body. (A less likely, but possibly more fun reason he might have done this is that the place where he fell asleep is right next to one of my crested gecko cages. The geckos and catfish are around the same size. The geckos also sometimes like to sleep on the glass. Was there some sort of imitation going on?)

5. As for the floating food, it did arrive and the fish love it -- but the sticks are so big that I have to break them into 4 or more pieces each or they can't be swallowed. (I'd thought they were going to be smaller). The butterfly fish try to swallow these bits but as long as they float, they are apparently too crunchy to do this. I may have to buy some floating betta food and use that until the butterfly fish get bigger.

6. I thought one of the butterfly fish had gotten sick and was about to die. She was completely pale, her pelvic fins were loose and close by her sides instead of spread out jauntily like normal, and her tail was sagging. I had no idea what could have caused this. But about 5 minutes later, she woke up and has been fine since! I guess she was just really deeply asleep.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg cteno 1.jpg (129.3 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg cteno 2.jpg (150.0 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg tankscape week 3.jpg (202.4 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg butterfly fish with Amazon frogbit.jpg (151.1 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg vertical Katamari.jpg (73.3 KB, 8 views)
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Old 06-19-2020, 10:15 PM   #14
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I rearranged the driftwood when I cleaned the tank today and replanted the smaller Nymphaea lotus, which my catfish had uprooted. The fish are all growing. The plants are getting new leaves. New plants are delayed.

The ctenopoma is being a total jerk to the butterfly fish, contrary to everything I've ever read about ctenopomas. It is a beautiful fish but it is stressing me out with its harassing behaviour. It has the whole tank to roam in and plenty of crevices but it insists on rushing the butterfly fish for several hours a day.

I have ordered a coconut with my next grocery order so that I can make it a second coconut hide that it can fit into but that the catfish can't get into. I'm hoping that knowing that it has a secure lurking place will make it behave better.
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Old 06-19-2020, 11:28 PM   #15
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Interesting developments.
Do you think the jerk fish may have to be removed entirely?
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Old 06-20-2020, 09:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksimdjembe View Post
Do you think the jerk fish may have to be removed entirely?
I hope not. I will give it a few days. The grocery order with the coconut is expected to arrive on Sunday.

In the meantime, I have been feeding the fish a lot. The ctenopoma is a glutton. It definitely is less of a jerk when it is full, but even when it can't fit any more food in its body, it is still sometimes a jerk.
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Old 06-20-2020, 02:25 PM   #17
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Generally with most organisms I figure there is a natural behaviour involved and we don't understand it fully, but also maybe it's just not nice?
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Old 06-22-2020, 09:07 AM   #18
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Pictures!

The Nymphaea on the left has been growing really well but it is not visible from the front of the tank yet because it's behind the driftwood.

The Nymphaea on the right is about 4 cm tall but at least has not been uprooted in the past few days. It is growing. I hope that being actually planted will allow it to flourish.

Everything else is starting to grow new leaves!

The past two days, the ctenopoma has also been less of a jerk. Fingers crossed.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg current tank setup 3rd week June.jpg (142.7 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg double portrait.JPG (224.2 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg graceful cteno.jpg (89.2 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg cteno in action.jpg (67.1 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg butterfly fish with Amazon frogbit.jpg (168.7 KB, 2 views)
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Old 06-23-2020, 09:12 PM   #19
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Today my most recent order from Tails & Scales arrived.

I had ordered more plants and some small floating pellets that should enable me to use the automatic fish feeder. There was also a surprise fish with the order! I had asked for a refund on the ctenopoma that had died a few days after it arrived but instead I was sent me another one. Luckily for it, I had left the quarantine tank running after I moved the last batch of fish to the new tank.

The new fish is half the size of my existing ctenopoma. It will be a challenge to get it to grow enough while itís in quarantine so that it can hold its own in the main tank. I really hope it will not get beaten up by its bigger and more well-adjusted conspecific. (I told the guy from Tails & Scales this and he said that if I have to return any fish because of aggression or whatever that I should call the store).

The plants that arrived today are Anubias hastifolia (beautiful arrowhead-shaped leaves), Anubias congensis (wide leaves) and Crinum calamistratum, a bulb plant with long leaves that resemble frilly ribbons. The plants are all fairly small right now but the tank already looks even better than before. I will post pics tomorrow once the water clears up from the planting.
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Old 06-24-2020, 10:36 AM   #20
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Tank photo! That's Anubias hastifolia on the far left (with the smaller Nymphaea zenkeri behind it), Anubias congensis in the middle, Anubias afzelli on the far right, Anubias barteri var. nana on the wood (two plants with roundish leaves). The leaves of Crinum calamistratum are barely visible to the left of the A. congensis, next to one of the coconut hides. The Bolbitis heudelotii ferns are tied to the wood and Lilaeopsis mauritania is planted all over the substrate. In this photo, the larger Nymphaea zenkeri is behind driftwood and so are all the fish except for the butterfly fish, which are hanging out in the Amazon frogbit (Limnobium laeviatum) at the surface.

The only problem that has come up with the plants so far is that there's a green hair algae infestation on the Bolbitis. I pull off clumps every time I have a reason to put my hands in the tank. I'm not sure whether to just keep removing it manually or whether I might need to get some shrimp -- and I suspect that shrimp won't last long if the "big" ctenopoma keeps growing at such a fast rate.

Meanwhile, the new little ctenopoma is hiding at the back of the quarantine tank and not eating. Its behaviour is not worrisome yet as it must be a big adjustment for the little fish.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Tank with new plants, June 24.jpg (167.8 KB, 5 views)
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