Planting Finished (for a while)and Cleaning Crew is In

2 weekends ago I picked up all the plants I had ordered from the LFS, except for the anubias nana var petite. The plants direct from the distributor where in much better shape than the ones that had been hanging around the store for a while. Especially the parva. I got 15 pots of it and it was mostly full grown. I also got 6 pots of needle leaf fern, 5 pots of Windelov fern, a couple more pots of crypt ponderfolia, a couple more pots of crypt wendtii ‘Red’, 6 pots of crpyt cordata and half a dozen more anubias barteri. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera after this planting so no photos exist of the tank in the best shape it’s looked since starting. After a week and a half the moajority of the crypts execpt the balansae, ponderfolia and parva have almost completely melted. Starting to see some growth from them now a week and a half after being transplanted. Here’s a couple tank shots of what things look like now.

Full Tank Shot Dec 18

The floaters are some lobelia cardinalas that I bought but decided not to plant.  Was a whim buy and after looking it up I shouldn’t have gotten it.  I don’t think its the small form.  I’m going to just let it float for a while to see if it survives but I don’t think I want it in the tank based on what I’ve read about it.

Here’s the view I have from my desk.

Angle shot Dec 18

A photo of the right foreground which will eventually be a parva lawn.  The 2nd round of parva are almost fully grown.  Compared to the parva I planted on the left side these ones look fully grown.

Crypt parva lawn

It will be interesting to see which side fills in more quickly.  The left side is planted more densely but the plants are very small where the right side is fully grown but not planted as thick.

This is all that was left of a 12-14 large crypt wendtii ‘red’ (as well as some diatom algae from starting up) and all that’s left of about the same number of crypt cordata

Melted wendtii 'red'

With the tank fully planted and some of the plants having about a month in the tank I figured it was pretty safe to start introducing fish.  I previously had bought 6 otos to keep the startup algae at bay and they all died.  It’s likely that the tank wasn’t entirely cycled and some other stress reactions all worked against them.  I jumped the gun a bit on getting them, maybe I was too paranoid about a bit algae infested startup.

The last time I started up a bigger planted tank I didn’t introduce any of the “show” fish until after the cleaning crew had been in for a few weeks.  I plan on doing the same thing this time.  I’ll build up the cleaning staff over the next couple weeks and then will get the rest of the fish in.

So far, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve found in stock at the fish stores around town.  Introduced into the tank this weekend were:

6 otos, 1 albino bristlenose pleco, 2 clown plecos, 2 rubbernose plecos, 9 panda corys and 120 ghost shrimp.  Here’s a few shots of some of the new tenants:

Albino bristlenose pleco

Rubbernose pleco

Rubbernose pleco

Clown pleco

Ghost shrimp

Panda corys

After the first day I haven’t seen the clown plecos around.  It also looks like one of the rubbernose plecos has some ich.  Hopefully it’s alright and doesn’t spread to the other fish.  Also, about a dozen of the ghost shrimp have bitten the dust.  Fairly expected considering I bought 10 dozen.  After the first day I haven’t seen any more carcasses lying in the gravel so I think the rest have acclimated well. It’s pretty cool to say about 100 ghost shrimp cruising around and doing their thing.  Makes the tank seem very active with almost no fish in it at all.  They are constantly eating something and it’s noticeable that they are cleaning things up after only a couple days.

As far as the tank setup goes I’m pretty much finished.  I have a couple small odds and ends to complete and then build the cabinet to finish it off.  That will be the last major job and then the only work left will be maintenance.  Not all the way there yet but it’s feeling much closer than it did 2 months ago.  There will be one more planting left for the tank, I just need to find the right species.  I need to get some anubias nana var petite it pretty large quantity to fill in the two sections of the driftwood (mostly on the left side) and I’d like a mid sized anubias strain for the left side as well.  I’m going to try and order some of them through another LFS and see how it goes.  Right now it’s just wait for the crypts to come back and the ferns and anubias to starting spreading out.

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~ by canaquaticgardens on December 20, 2011.

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