My Planted Aquarium is now 5th month old

>> Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Learned many things in this 5 months journey. Cheated by different shopkeepers. It is ok! all in the learning process. May be I have lost few thousand bucks but can help help many fellow hobbyists so that they don't get cheated.

After installing the timer and the solenoid valve for Co2; scenario of my tank drastically changed! All the fuzz algae gone! All the hair algae gone! Now I can deduce that these fuzz and hair algae were due to fluctuating Co2 level and timings. fluctuating light timings may be a cause though. any way I got rid of these nuisance algae.

I didn't have fish except few mollies in my tank. i kept them to clear up the fuzz alagae. they are not required any more. my tank is now algae free!

So, I purchased 6 Herquelin Rasboras, 6 Rummy nose Tetras and 20 Neon Tetras. All of them are nicely schooling. Neon Tetras school when in large group.

By this time my HC (Hemianthus Callitrichoides) have started spreading. HM (Hemianthus Micranthemoides or Pearl weeds)are growing nicely and they are crawling too. Even these could make a very nice fore ground plant!

If you are in search of timer and the Co2 assembly, solenoid valve etc .. you can ask me at I can ship it to you. The price is cheaper than what you expect!


My planted tank is now in 4th month

>> Thursday, October 15, 2009

Photo of my planted aquarium at 4th Month

Learnt so many things in this short journey of planted aquarium. One thing I realize on the way to your journey. You can learn the basic know how from different forums and books or, articles but your experience is bound to be unique. May be due to your environment, local water quality and of course the care you give.

Utility if timer and solenoid valve in an aquarium:

Reason - 1:
A month back I lost all my fishes Penguin tetras , and harquelin Rasboras in few hours! I was not at home. I asked my 12 years old son to on the light and open the Co2 valve. He did so rightly and left home for playing. Suddenly power went off for 3 hours. When he came back, he found all the fishes are dead and floating. The reason was co2 without the light!

Reason - 2

I went for vacation last month for a week and asked my maid to turn on and off light at the particular time. she may tried but definitely did not maintained time. Moreover from the previous bad experience of losing fishes I removed the pressurized Co2 and added a DiY Co2 again for those few days. When I came back, I was shocked by seeing my tank. Most of the leaves were full with beard algae / or fuzz algae. Plants were looking sick. HC s were fully covered with dense fuzz, and hair algae! I removed most leaves and many plants immediately. Changed 80% of water. Within a few days tank became healthy.

Moreover most of the time at the time of starting and ending the photo period nobody remains at home; but it is absolutely essential to maintain the schedule.

Thogh read at manuy places timer is a god investment ; I realized it in a hard way.

Ultimately I bought a timer and a solenoid valve and now my aquarium is fully automatic.

Hobbyist cancontact me to my mail if you need any help regarding purchase installation and know how about timer, pressure control valves and solenoid valves. Now I know the technical things :). The materials are available in Kolkata; if you are outside kolkata, or, India I can ship them to you according to your requirement.


Painful re - scaping of my planted aquarium

>> Sunday, September 13, 2009

Today I removed all the vals. Reasons being they were spreading at odd places. Old leaves were looking ugly and they were floating on the surface. Planted more Bacopas in the back ground. Changed the place of Hygrophilla deformis. Changed 80% of water.

But I was shocked to see my HCs and HMs. They were looking so ugly! All kind of dust and white webs entangled in them in a bad way. The only option was to remove them.

At last I took the decision of removing them. I removed them and kept separately in two containers. Then suddenly thought of giving a try again. I kept them for 5 minutes in ice cool diluted bleaching powder solution.

Then taken a portion of HC and planted at one corner. To my surprise, they were bright and full of roots! Then I took each of them and started planting. Another surprise! 90% of my fore ground is covered by HC!

HMs are also brighter. All the leaves looking healthy. No sign of blemishes in either of them. after a long time I saw pearling in HCs! Hope they will stay.


Video clip of my 8 week old planted TANK

>> Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Questions asked by the beginners for setting up planted tanks in Kolkata

>> Monday, September 7, 2009

1. Which material is preferable? Glass or Plastic? Please provide the pros and cons of both.

Glass will be cheaper and easily available. If you want to spend more can go for moulded one ..aesthetically better

2. If I want to have a tank of say 2.5 ft length 1.5 breadth and 2 ft of height, will it be good enough to grow plants?

Length and breadth is ok but height better keep @18" or below, otherwise you have to spend much on lighting and electricity bills.

3. Is direct sunlight advisable or artificial light will do good?

No direct sunlight. The total environment will be created by you and will be controlled by you.

4. Will it require lot of time to maintain? ACtually me and my husband belong to IT field and everyday we don't have much time to spend. But yes in occassion basis we can spend an entire day during weekend twice a month. My question is will it demands lots of care/time everyday?

Initially it need 1 hour alternate day for water changing etc... after 2 - 3 months it will take 2 hours per week. If you have passion you can make it easily.

5. Sometimes we are out of home for 2 days.may be 1.5 days. How to cope with that without affecting aqua lives in my tank.

Not much problem. Timer for light is available not very costly too.

6. In Kolkata, where should I get the base substrate?

Collect laterite, which is at present available on the service road Lake town on VIP road. You will need about 2 - 3 kg for your set up. Collect coarse sand gravel. KA members will help you for that

10.At last, to get ready for all these, how much will it cost me. Obviously its difficult to provide exact amount but an approximation will also do.

It depends on what do you want! For low tech tank, where growth will be slower and you cannot expect to see the magic every now and then can be started @ 2.5 K for your tank size. For high tech tank sky is the limit :) But a moderate high-tech tank you should keep your budget about 5 - 6 k.


My new plants are getting hold

>> Saturday, September 5, 2009

Oh! It is nice to see the new leaves are coming out from Ludwigia inclinata! The original stems are still bent! but many new leaves are coming out. I have no idea what color and form they are going to take finally. Let hope for the best.

One of the finest looking plant with exotic color is Ludwigia glandulasa. This is a top view of the plant. They look much better that you can see in this photo. Just look at the next photo ...what dimension they have given to my tank!

The latest photo of my planted jungle


Sourced some exotic plants and rescaped my tank

>> Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ultimately got some exotic plants........

Sourced from KA friends Avik and Abhirup. They were kind to share their stuff they ordered Rocky.

Now I had to change my scape. What I noticed, due to heavy growth of so many plants, many plants are not getting sufficient lights. Aponogetons are floating here and there on the surface and are growing like mad. base of the crowded plants are dirty! I have to do something...

Scape before I decided to change

Here are the plants I got........

Ammania Senegalensis

Ludwigia inclinata Var. Cuba before planting

Mayaca Fluviatilis ready for planting

I grouped the plants nicely Bacopa at one place, Ludwigia Repens on the right corner. I made the left side of the tank clean and made space for more Hemianthus Callitrichoides. Hemianthus micranthemoides were at the back I brought them in midground.

How Ludwigia inclinata looked just after planting and the relocated Hemianthus micranthemoides

Space are made for Hemianthus Callitrichoides

Ammania Senegalnesis after planting

Mayaca fluviatilis after planting

My tank has now two front sides!

My tank is now loooking much lighter. I am enjoying the changes in the new plants.

Ammania Senegalnesis was all green is rapidly changiing its color to pink. Mayaca fluviatilis though seem not very happy but have some new leaves to show its life. Ludwigia inclinata, though not dead but are still sleeping! I don't know what will happen to them!

Ammania Senegalnesis turning pink

New leaves on Mayaca fluviatilis

Still sleeping Ludwigia inclinata


My planted jungle in my drawing room is 3 weeks old now!

>> Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Close up shot of the center of the tank

My journey till today was thrilling. My 30 Gallon planted tank is 3 weeks old. Frankly speaking I was hesitant about investing much money in this. But after looking at its beauty I cannot but decide to invest the basic things which is needed for this beautiful live show piece.

Beautiful live show piece

I bought a Co2 cylinder, a must if you are serious about your planted tank. I am not saying that planted tank is not possible with it; but if you want fast growth and want to see the magic and feel the thrill - this is a must. Plants will show you they are live and enjoying their stay in your aquarium.

2 Kg Co2 Cylinder with regulator and needle valve

I started macro and micro dosing using KNO3 and CSM +B respectively along with 3 bps Co2 injection. Light period is 8 hours @ 3Watt per Gallon.

For the foreground, I am lucky to get some bunches of HC Hemianthus callitrichoides "Cuba
from Amitava. So cute these plants are! They are the smallest leaved step plant in the world.
I planted them keeping my fingers crossed. But this time I am again lucky. They are doing great in my tank.

HC s are planted in the foreground

All my plants are happy with the feast of Co2 and the whole tank start fizzing after an hour of lighting like champagne bottle!

Plants are feasting on Co2

After 5 days of planting I noticed some changes in the HCs They are spreading their roots. Showing the sign of lives in them. I am just waiting to see when they fill the whole foreground.

HC s are spreading their roots and breathing

I didn't lose a single twig of delicate HC in the process. Now it is so nice to see the smallest twig is pearling happily!

Smallest HC is pearling!


Day 15 of my planted jungle

>> Sunday, August 9, 2009

Two weeks have passed. So far, so good!

I have crystal clear water, Luxurious green growth of plants, no algae, Fishes are happy and so am I. DiY Co2 woked fine for 2 long weeks and I started a new bottle on day 14; which is also working fine.

I added few Guppies to my tank, as I didn't find any good fish in LFS. Guppies are not good for a tank. Though they are colorful and don't disturb others; but are very unruly! They move haphazardly and don't shoal! They don't beautify your tank.

I removed them today and added a dozen of Hockey sticks. They are also known as Penguin fishes, the scientific name being Thayeria boehlkei. Though I have to remove them later when I will add neon or, cardinal tetras. Read about these fishes in this link

Got a big bunch of HC (Hemianthus Callitrichoides) for my foreground as gift grom Amitava. Hope I can keep them. Really tiny and beatiful leaves they have.

Shameek gifted moss and a midground stem plant...sorrry forgot the name.

Thanks to Amitava..for reminding the name Hemianthus Micranthemoides or, pearl grass. They are planted just below the power filter and soon will be visible and will hide the gadget.

Discussed with the senior members of Kolkata Aquarium club and they suggested to go for pressurized Co2. Looking at the beauty of the tank I also think; it is worth investing, so ordered one today.

This is a close up photo of the plant, whose identity is still unknown to KA members.. Abhirup is searching for this.


10th day of my planted jungle

>> Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Everything is running fine, More than my expectation. Getting help fromall my friends of Kolkata Aquarium club.

The changes noticeable are luxurious growth and greenness of the tank.

Some faunas are added mainly for the cycling process. Four Harquelin Rasbora and 3 Pink Zebra Danios; given by Amitava. Two HR s jumped out of the tank and died! Today addded few Gupies.

added a black background. That changed the total view!


Day 4 of my planted Jungle

>> Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The day 4 of my cute jungle

The tank is looking more lively. All the plants are longer. Some of them grown more than 8 inches!

Continuous bubbling from the plants. Pearling looking so beautiful on the leaves.

New leaves are forming.


Water Changing technique I use for my tank

Was searching in the internet for easy way of changing water in the aquarium. In all the sites the same method like siphoning out the water and bucket etc was described. To me these are very messy procedure and time consuming too.

I thought of a very quick and non messy procedure of changing water of the tank. I need to change 25% of water at least once a week and even more. This procedure should be quick and not messy.

Here is the procedure- how I did it ...It worked like a breeze!

I bought a 20' plastic tube. The source of water and the drain is about 20' from my tank.
I used my power filter to drain the water. It took less than 5 minutes to drain 30% of my 30G tank.

i) Power filter is switched off
ii) Detached the DiY Co2 pipe from the vent of the power filter. This is important, otherwise tank water will flow into the DiY Co2 bottle.
iii) Attached the adapter for the tap on the end of the tube ad fixed it to the outlet of the power filter

iv) Now run the pump for 5 minutes
v) Detach the adapter from the tank end of the tube and attached it to the tap/ drain end; and attached to the tap
vi) Run the tap for 5 minutes

and in 10 minutes 30% water is changed before I go to my work and while enjoying my breakfast!


Preparing my aquarium for a jungle - Part III

>> Monday, July 27, 2009

Today the second day of my planted world. Everything is going beyond my expectation. DiYCo2 is working fine. Water is crystal clear. Nice movement of is seen on the leaves; as if a soft breeze is blowing over them. The whole tank is lush green.

The few surprises was there for me when I returned from my work. All the plants are taller in length in just one day. some of them grown about 3"! See this photo and compare with previous day's picture.

The next surprise was few purple flowers! Never expected on 2nd day

This is the view of the tank on 2nd day

Another view on the second day


Preparing my aquarium for a junngle - Part II

>> Sunday, July 26, 2009

Today was THE DAY for planting my first planted aquarium. Went to Galiff street to collect the plants from there. With the help of Abhirup, Avik, amd Mithun my first bunch of plants was bought.

I am so thankful to Avik, Abhirup, Jayottam, Anindya - They accompanied me at my home to help my planting.

The beautiful driftwoods were presented to me by Supriyo. Those have changed the whole look of the tank. Missed Amitava due to some of his unavoidable circumstances.

Planting going on

Get a closer look of plantation ceremony

It is time to fill the tank

Snap just after filling the tank

DiY Co2 set up

Thank you Avik this is working fine now! I made some mistake with dilution may be!


View of the tank from side

Final Look of the planted tank on the first day


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